Theatre News

Bristol's Mayfest festival announces 2016 line-up

The festival, which spans the city of Bristol, celebrates new work from artists

Castle Rock, salt and Chekhov's First Play
Castle Rock, salt and Chekhov's First Play
(© Paul Samuel White/Richard Davenport/Jose Miguel Jimenez )

Bristol-based theatre festival Mayfest has announced its 2016 line-up with highlights including the international premiere of Selina Thompson's salt and Spymonkey and Tim Crouch's new show The Complete Deaths.

Commissioned by Mayfest, Theatre Bristol and Yorkshire Festival, salt explores themes of grief, ancestry, home and colonialism and follows a journey being undertaken along one route of the Transatlantic Trade Triangle, taking a woman from the UK to Ghana and finally Jamaica (12 to 19 May).

Elsewhere in the festival Irish company Dead Centre's Chekhov's First Play will be radically restaged at Bristol Old Vic (12-14 May) prior to an international tour. It Folds by brokentalkers and Junk Ensemble will run in the Old Vic Studio from 20 to 22 May and offers a poignant and humorous portrait of life in a modern city and the events that shape our everyday lives.

Inspired by the film Stand By Me, Massive Owl bring their show Castle Rock to the Old Vic Studio on 14 and 15 May, Verity Standen will perform Symphony, an intimate performance for one audience member at a time (18 to 22 May) and Still House's Of Riders and Running Horses returns from 19 to 22 May after a successful run at the 2015 festival.

Other highlights include Bryony Kimmings' hit show Fake It 'til you Make It (Tobacco Factory Theatres, 16 to 21 May), Spymonkey/Tim Crouch's new show The Complete Deaths (Bristol Old Vic, 17 to 18 May) which charts all of the deaths in Shakespeare's plays and Greg Wohead's Comeback Special.

Mayfest is produced by MAYK, the producing organisation led by Kate Yedigaroff and Matthew Austin. Commenting on this year's programme, the pair said:

"At a time when we are being asked to question ideas of place, identity, nationhood and community, it has never felt more important to champion those voices that speak about difference, individuality and defiance. Mayfest 2016's programme celebrates the power and connection of the live event and asks audiences to look closely and carefully at the world around them."