A photo by Duncan Speakman of Uninvited Guests and Oh, The Guilt performing Society of Friends at Theaster Gates' Sanctum, Bristol. Produced by Situations and programmed by MAYK.
A remarkable structure arose from within the bombed-out remains of Temple Church in Bristol. For 24 days, 24 hours a day, the site was transformed into an intimate place of listening, in which to hear the city like never before.
Uninvited Guests performed Society of Friends 4 times as part of Sanctum, contributing 4 hours to the 552 hours of continuous sound by performers, musicians and bands. Entrance was free and the programme was secret. See website for further info on Theaster Gates' first public project in the UK, produced by Situations, as part of Bristol 2015 European Green Capital: http://sanctumbristol.com/
At the beginning of April Uninvited Guests & circumstance took to the streets of a very cold Bristol to perform Give Me Back My Broken Night.
The audience met at Harts Bakery, under the arches of Bristol Temple Meads, for tea and cookies, before being taken on a journey into the future of the Enterprise Zone.
Divided into groups, the audience set off with their guides to a number of destinations in the Zone. At each place the guide gave a description of the future, based on actual plans for the Enterprise Zone, or a utopian, nostalgic vision of the future, drawn from historical research about the area. The journey also took in a more dystopian possibility. Wearing headphones, the audience listened to a message from a future in which Bristol is submerged underwater, accompanied by a sci-fi soundtrack composed by Duncan Speakman of circumstance.
The audience also had the opportunity to propose their own version of the future. Participants were given a blank map and a mini projector and invited to describe what they’d like to see on a site where a building had been demolished. As they collaboratively described their ideal future architecture, an artist’s impression started to appear in glowing lines on the map. Click here to see the drawings created by audience members over the 8 performances.
The performance and your tour of the future of the zone ended with a planning meeting in Brunel’s Boardroom in the Old Station, where audiences had the opportunity to propose their ideas and discuss the drawings they’d made more thoroughly.
After one of our fictional planning committees, George Ferguson, architect and Bristol’s Mayor, said that Give Me Back My Broken Night offered the chance to design “unfettered by the limitations of adult reality”, that the show was both “innovative and fun”. Researching, making and performing this Bristol Temple Quarter commission has been a rewarding experience and we were really pleased with the public’s playful, imaginative and thoughtful plans.
There’s been some great responses and you can click here to read what audiences said about the show.
Bristol Culture’s review of the show is available here
You can also view some images from the performance on Flickr.
We have been blogging about our Theatre Sandbox project, in collaboration with Duncan speakman here:
Contact us or the Soho Theatre - the venue we are working with - if you are interested in seeing our performance sketch or prototype on 2nd October.
You can check out the blog, which documents our Summer School with Duncan, here:
This was put together by Mary Stark, one of the artists on the course.
DUNCAN SPEAKMAN AND UNINVITED GUESTS' International Summer School 2010