Angels in Bristol unites the city this Christmas

A mysterious star has appeared over the slopes of Southmead…
A mighty exodus brings hope of a promised land named Weston-super-Mare…
A great ark begins to take shape on the waters of Bristol’s harbour…

This Christmas, Angels in Bristol: The Story of Christmas in 9 Miracles brings together schools and communities from across Bristol and the region, to share a uniquely Bristolian version of ‘The Greatest Story Ever Told’.

Created from the soaring poetry of Vanessa Kisuule, with music from Dan Jones and Guy Hughes, imagery by Limbic Cinema and co-directed by Tom Morris and up-and-coming Bristol director Julia Head, Angels in Bristol… will be delivered as 9 short stories, designed to be told one-a-day from 20 until 28 Dec.

Reaching across the length and breadth of Bristol and into North Somerset, Angels in Bristol… combines the creative powers of professional and community artists alike and draws on the generosity of playgrounds, pubs, churches and businesses to bring these stories to life. Filming in locations such as St Pauls Adventure Playground, The Black Swan in Easton, Underfall Yard, in Bristol primary schools and on doorsteps, the project showcases the way an entire community can come together, to tell stories of comfort and joy.

For nine days, each episode will wing its way daily into your inbox, free to anyone who would like to share a moment of togetherness after this extraordinary year – a gift from us to you.

Angels in Bristol… was originally conceived as a live performance in Bristol Old Vic’s Courtyard Theatre. However, due to the lockdown and sudden Tier 3 restrictions in Bristol, the production has been reimagined over the course of two weeks into a completely digital experience, thanks to the imagination and invention of  the theatre-makers, composers, film-makers and communities involved.

One of the community groups involved is Theatre Orchard, based in North Somerset. Angela Athay-Hunt, Engagement Manager at Theatre Orchard, said: “Working in collaboration with Bristol Old Vic to be part of its Christmas show has been an exhilarating experience for our engagement groups; Open Door adult drama and Chapter One creative writing. Both groups have played an integral part in contributing creative ideas and devising content that shine a warm festive light on Weston-super-Mare and showcase their ‘promised land’ through a wonderful kaleidoscope of personal stories, memories and hopes.”

Angels in Bristol… was co-created by Vanessa Kisuule, Tom Morris, Julia Head, Young SixSix , Chapter One, Open Door, Miss Simmons’ Year One Class at Stoke Park Primary School, Meadows to Meaders, Reception Year at Headley Park Primary School, Dan Jones and Guy Hughes, Limbic Cinema, RedLeaf AV, Alison Reid, James Newton, Theatre Orchard, Local Learning, Jack Offord, and Bristol Old Vic.

With thanks to Julie and Andy at Underfall Yard, Mel and Kaden at The Black Swan, Rachel Davies and St Pauls Adventure Playground, Jack and the staff at the Left Handed Giant, Ruth Myers-Insole, Angie Athay-Hunt, Bob Walton, Eli Lower, Xahnaa Adlam, Alex Wollacott, Rod Maclachlan, Bristol Film Office.

Please note: While the stories are completely free to watch, 50% of any donations received for Angels in Bristol… will support future Bristol Old Vic projects in the community and 50% will go to the charity St Mungo’s for their work  helping people who are homeless this winter.

About Author /

Kath is an actor, singer and writer with a passion for theatre. She has been reviewing for At The Theatre since 2014. Kath has a Masters in Performance at Liverpool Hope University and is Creative Engagement Worker for B arts, a participatory arts organisation.

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