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Bristol’s celebrated Mayfest takes over the National Theatre's River Stage festival with a wealth of contemporary and unfamiliar theatre. Expect lively and aspiring work from leading theatre-makers from Bristol, the UK and around the world. Produced by MAYK, Mayfest is Bristol’s applauded festival of international contemporary theatre, which is staged at venues and sites across Bristol throughout the year.

Mayfest’s takeover weekend is part of the River Stage festival, a free outdoor event in front of the National Theatre, presented every Friday, Saturday and Sunday throughout August.

For details on what to expect www.nationaltheatre.org.uk

Here’s our guide to what’s happening this weekend, Friday 12 to Sunday 14 August:

Friday 12 August

Of Riders and Running Horses, choreographed by Dan Canham, 8.10 – 9pm

A stirring and visceral dance event by Still House, created as a communal animation of urban spaces. Five female dancers and a live band conjure a new kind of old dance, an insistent rhythm, a joyful step into what it means to move together

Sam Halmarack and The Miserabilites, 9.45 – 10.45pm

Located somewhere between a theatre show and a stadium pop concert, Sam Halmarack and The Miserablites are the bombastic pioneers of interactive stadium pop. Get ready for handclapping anthems and electro music to move and inspire. With songs and stories, the piece comes together to offer a unique take on what it means to be redeemed by music. A lightning-fast journey from the depths of failure to collective euphoria in the space of just a few songs.

Saturday 13 August

Symphony, by Verity Standen, 12.30-2.30pm

A symphony for one. Tuning forks are traditionally used for pitching – unheard by audiences – but up close they create beautiful, surprisingly resonate sounds as instruments in their own right. By blending these metallic tones with live voice, two performers create a vivid and unique sound world for individual audience members. This new short piece by Verity Standen, celebrated Bristol composer of Mmm Hmmm and the immersive choral piece HUG, can be experienced by one person at a time lasting approx 15 mins.

Junior Jungle, 1.30-2.30pm

Bringing you the finest cuts of raga-jungle. Nick Terrific expertly mixes some proper tunes to give a real rave. Expect to dance, a lot. Mc Rocky Patch will lead the charge making sure all party goers are jumpin’ and skankin’ and joining in with dance offs and battles.

Sleepdogs presents Circadial, 3.30 – 5pm

Circadial is about the rhythms and polyphony of a place; the way that sound can locate you in time and geography. Built from local field recordings made in the days and nights preceding the performances, Sleepdogs create a live, improvised, constantly shifting music. Headsets will be provided for audiences’ keen to explore this wondrous musical experience.

Verity Standen in association with Tobacco Factory Theatres present Mmm Hmmm, 6 – 7pm

A fast-paced collage of acapella sound worlds. Each song explores everyday human experience in playful and emotive detail: a fragile apology, a fervent cup of tea. Performed by a trio of female singers, Mmm Hmmm blends intricate vocal techniques and rich harmony with dynamic, darkly comic staging.

Of Riders and Running Horses, directed by Dan Canham, 8.10 – 9pm

A stirring and visceral dance event by Still House, created as a communal animation of urban spaces. Five female dancers and a live band conjure a new kind of old dance, an insistent rhythm, a joyful step into what it means to move together. Final UK dates before international touring in 2017.

Typesun DJ set, 9.30-10.45pm

An explosive DJ set for late-night enjoyment, Typesun is a producer and DJ from Bristol whose unique brand of rugged underground soul music has captured the attention of listeners around the world.

Sunday August 14

Symphony by Verity Standen, 12 - 2pm

Just in case you missed Verity on Saturday, she’s back and to do it all over again.

Wilf and Friends, 12 – 1pm

Wilf Merttens harvests the little clumps of story that collect in sock drawers and obscure chat rooms. He mixes them up in a jar until they make a dark and childish syrup. He was once young storyteller of the year.  He will also be joined by Jamie Doe, Alim Kamara and others.

Alabaster DePlume, 1.15 – 2.15pm

Alabaster DePlume, a presentation of jazz/folk with theatrical performance in it, reassures with behaviour and sound while it challenges with thoughts and words. With a tenor saxophone influenced by Ethiopian jazz and humour akin to Ivor Cutler, Alabaster has toured internationally and engaged dozens of musicians, visual artists, performers and film-makers in a series of original projects around the UK. He will be joined by Jordan Copeland (Bass), Dan Leavers (Piano/Synth) and Maxwell Hallett (Drums).

Sleepdogs presents Circadial, 2.30 – 3.30pm

Just in case you missed Circadial on Saturday.

Verity Standen in association with Tobacco Factory Theatres present Mmm Hmmm, 4 - 5pm

A fast-paced collage of a capella sound worlds. Each song explores everyday human experience in playful and emotive detail: a fragile apology, a fervent cup of tea. Performed by a trio of female singers, Mmm Hmmm blends intricate vocal techniques and rich harmony with dynamic, darkly comic staging.

 


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The National Theatre presents Mayfest this weekend
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