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

10 things to do this week in Bristol, April 1-7

1 04 2013

Monday: Gloucester Road WI Tea Party
Featuring handmade treats served in a member’s Bishopston home, raising money for a cookbook with recipes from independent businesses.

Tuesday: La Roux, Fleece
Bristol is one of only three special warm-up shows for La Roux, their first live dates in almost two years as they gear up to make a return at the Coachella festival.

Tuesday-Saturday: The Bloody Ballad, Bristol Old Vic
“The Brothers Grimm meet Quentin Tarantino in this brutal love story set around Memorial Day celebrations in 1950s America”, with live rockabilly soundtrack.

Thursday-Saturday: A Night With The Flavour Smith, secret location
The Flavour Smith is former Riverstation head chef Tom Green, who is hosting his debut pop-up restaurant for three nights in a “secret medieval location” in the city centre.

Thursday-Sunday: Give Me Back My Broken Night
“A theatrical guided tour, not of the historic past, but of the future of your city”, presented by FUEL, Uninvited Guests and Circumstance within Bristol Temple Quarter.

Friday-Sunday: Beef + Beer, 40 Alfred Place
With steaks and burgers from Chomp featuring the finest dry aged beef from Angus and Hereford crosses, and beer from rising star Bristol brewery Wiper & True.

Friday: Mocha Focha Presents Backbeat Soundsystem, Attic
“Good vibes and coffee appreciation” in a special club night from Bristol’s festival espresso van, with a lineup including Backbeat Sound System, Dub Boy and Tenja.

Saturday: Emile Sandé, Colston Hall
She was everywhere last year during the Olympics, and now the Scottish chanteuse with the “weapons grade voice” (New York Times) is here in Bristol.

Saturday & Sunday: Tempting Failure, The Island
Performances, artworks, actions, noise-works, video-works, provocations and installations make up this “immersive experience of live art and noise”.

Sunday: Battle of Algiers, Watershed
The tale of Algeria’s epic battle for independence, with music by Ennio Morricone – chosen by Goldfrapp’s Will Gregory as one of his most influential film scores.