Bristol Ferment 2013: A Journey Round My Skull & Lady GoGo Goch

24 01 2013

One of the joys of Ferment is never knowing quite what to expect from work in progress pieces. For the next fortnight, the Bristol Old Vic studio will be taken over by everything from apocalyptic circus to conversations not fit for the American dinner table.

On its first night last night, it was the turn of Kindle Theatre from Birmingham, so unusually I had an inkling of what to expect thanks to The Furies as part of Mayfest last year which was an aural bombardment from a trio of half naked screaming banshees.

The first half of a double-bill was A Journey Round My Skull, which was framed around an operation as a solitary performer, Olivia Winteringham, talked us through our condition, entered our brain and finally put on surgical scrubs for the unsettling finale which even saw her insert a horrendous-looking contraption into her mouth and cranking it open.

Throughout this performance – which had the audience standing up on the floor of the studio – there was awkwardness, nasty noises, drilling, we were the body, the brain, part of the painful operation. Experiment Number 6 by Lemon Jelly was brought to mind as the operation continued.

A quick turnaround and then it was Lady GoGo Goch. If I know one thing about the Welsh language, it’s that the longest place name is Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwyll-llantysiliogogogoch, and Sami Cadno said this town a good number of times and much more in what is not her native tongue.

Music played by Ricardo Rocha accompanied Cadno, who went from traditional national dress through a period of costume changes to a more modern-day outfit: a visual example of the Welsh woman on a tea towel playing the harp becoming the Welsh woman tottering through Cardiff on a Friday night.

A Journey Round My SkullA Journey Round My Skull – photo by Paul Blakemore


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