Review: Give Me Back My Broken Night

5 04 2013

Bristol has an arena. The former Royal Mail sorting office behind Temple Meads has been turned into luxury flats, but some remain unsold and others are being squatted. There is a swimming pool over which a running track passes built on an old gas works on Silverthorne Lane.

These are visions of a Bristol of the future, specifically the Enterprise Zone, officially known as Bristol Temple Quarter.

Give Me Back My Broken Night takes the form of a walking tour in small groups of four or five, with a guide as well as headphones, in the latest commission to try to breath life into this area.

Bristol’s future is revealed and discussed via maps that change in front of our eyes like the Marauder’s Map from Harry Potter, as we discuss cricket pitches and solar panels.

It is fascinating to think so deeply about the potential that this area has, while hearing tantalising snippets of its past such as the once bustling Cattle Market Tavern or Brunel’s old boardroom as we walked down streets less trod.

Give Me Back My Broken Night

Furnished on our way by hot drinks and cookies from Hart’s Bakery, Give Me Back My Broken Night is presented by FUEL, Uninvited Guests and Circumstance. Originally developed as part of Watershed’s Theatre Sandbox Programme, the show returns to Bristol for its UK premiere following performances as part of the European City of Culture programme in Guimaraes, Portugal. It is part of a series of Bristol Temple Quarter commissions coordinated by Watershed, Knowle West Media Centre and MAYK, with support from Bristol City Council and Arts Council England.

Give Me Back My Broken Night takes place until Sunday. For more information, visit

Royal Mail sorting office

Photos by Jenny Davies

Bristol Arena could open by 2016

3 10 2012

Bristol could get its long-awaited arena by 2016, it was announced today. A future 12,000-seat Bristol Arena would cost between £60-80 million and be built on the former diesel depot site off Bath Road behind Temple Meads. A draft study concludes that “there is stakeholder support, market demand and operator interest for an arena in Bristol”.

The target start date for construction of the arena is autumn 2014, with work estimated to take around 18 months, meaning that Lady Gaga and other acts who at the moment completely bypass Bristol, could be performing in the city by the middle of 2016.

“I am absolutely confident we will have an arena,” said Colin Skellet, chairman of the Local Enterprise Partnership behind the scheme.

The “spatial framework” (not artist’s impression) below gives some idea of how the Enterprise Zone within which the arena will be built could take shape in the years to come: