27th February 2023

Love Letters performance

Thanks to everyone who came to see Love Letters Straight From Your Heart last Saturday! 

It was a brilliant way to begin our 25th Birthday celebrations... 

Posted by Anonymous: 27th February 2023

27th February 2023

Reflecting on our 25 years together

Leading up to our recent performance of Love Letters Straight From Your Heart we chatted to Fuel, who have been producing the show since 2006. We talked about how the company formed and a few highlights from over the years...

Can you tell us a bit more about how/when you formed whilst in Bristol and your ongoing connections with the city? 

We formed in 1998 in Bristol. Paul and Jess were introduced by a mutual friend and started working together first and then Richard joined in 2000. Bristol has been our base since the start, and Paul and Jess live in the city. Richard is in London but studied in the Theatre Department at University of Bristol back in the early 90s. Paul is Associate Professor in that same department now. Uninvited Guests are Resident Artists at the Pervasive Media studio at Watershed and over the years have also been supported by Arnolfini, In Between Time, Bristol Old Vic, Trinity Centre and Knowle West Media Centre among other Bristol organisations. We have deep connections with the city and close collaborators here; we have made friends here, raised family here, it is our home.


Can you share some highlights or favourite projects from the last 25 years of the company?

We have made a lot of shows over the last 25 years so it’s hard to choose a few…


Highlights (and lowlights) over the last 25 years would include:

·      hearing that couples had decided to propose to each other after attending performances of Love Letters Straight from Your Heart.

·      whilst on tour with the show It Is Like It Ought To Be, having to take a very long (and terrifying) zip wire down from the Great Wall of China after being told ‘this is the quickest way and if we don’t do this you’re going to be late for the show tonight’.

·      Billennium, a theatrical guided tour of the future of a place using AR, has taken us to some amazing cities - Eindhoven, Budapest, Bilbao and Belgrade. Because the show requires local research into the history of that place we have met and talked to some fascinating people over the years. For example, we met Toti in Bilbao, a gregarious and entertaining author who knows a lot about the Basque region and history.

·      Jess, about 4 months pregnant, accidentally falling off a bed onto a floor of fake blood and ketchup in Schlock (which was in part a homage to horror films). The get out involved mopping up litres of the aforementioned fake blood and ketchup.

·      getting carpet burns from fighting each other at the end of Offline, our show about internet chat rooms (the set was a beige carpet and not much else). 

·      Richard pretending to be Martin Sheen in Apocalypse Now for the show Film, but hurting his back doing so and having to lie in bed for a weekend with some frozen peas whilst everyone else went to a cool festival to perform the show with an understudy.


 What does it feel like to be returning to Love Letters post-Covid 19 lockdowns and the digital iteration?

We are looking forward to doing the in-person version of Love Letters - the first time for nearly 3 years. The online version was great because we were able to connect people across the world (we performed it for venues in the US, Australia, Mexico and Ireland as well as in the UK) at a time when people were feeling really isolated because of lockdowns. But there were some things that we do in the in-person version that weren’t possible – serving sparkling wine to the audience, everyone dancing together, hugging each other and running around. It will be nice to do some of these in-person things again. It will be nice to feel the sweat again!


What piece of advice would you give to theatre makers at the start of their careers today? 

It is hard to give advice to those starting out right now because the world is quite different. For one thing there is a lot less funding around which makes everything harder. We think we were quite lucky with the support we got in those early years – from venues and from the Arts Council. That support encouraged us to keep going. It is harder to come by now maybe, but you’ve still got to find those friends (funders, venues, festivals, producers) who like what you do, are supportive and want you to do more. Another thing to say about how our company has had some longevity is that we have figured out a way of working together in a very organic way that is quite loose and flexible – we don’t have much of a grand plan (maybe it’s bad but we have maybe written one business plan in 25 years), and we are understanding of the other commitments that we know each of us has. Our company has kept going because it is built on friendship, respect and quite a lot of forgiveness of each other and ourselves.


Posted by Anonymous: 27th February 2023

13th February 2023

Performing Futures Video

Check out this VIDEO about a project called 'Performing Futures'.

 In 2022 ‘Performing Futures’ used two shows, Billennium and To Those Born Later, to test innovative, more inclusive and sustainable performing arts touring and distribution models.

Funded by Perform Europe and in partnership with IKUSEEARTE (Spain), Students’ City Cultural Centre (Serbia), PLACCC Festival (Hungary) and Fuel (London).

Posted by Jess: 13th February 2023

6th February 2023

Performing Futures at PM Studio

It was the Pervasive Media Studio's 15th Birthday celebration last Friday. We showed documentation of a number of shows that have been in collaboration with the studio over the last 12 years: Give Me Back My Broken Night, Billennium, Future Places Toolkit and Future Soundings.  

Posted by Jess: 6th February 2023