We were pleased to collaborate with ‘Rise and Fall Playback' theatre company for Bristol’s key International Women’s Day event at City Hall in Bristol. We committed to practising with ‘Rise and Fall Playback’ and then delivered a performance on ‘Cycles of Life’ which focused mainly on the international theme of the menopause. Women were very open about their personal experiences and this generated tears and laughter in the performance. There was particularly honesty and affirmations of each other’s experiences. Having received positive responses from our first gig with ‘Rise and Fall Playback’ we hope to pursue future opportunities with their company over the year.
'Play and Display’ Theatre Workshops for children and young people
Breathing Fire explored opportunities to run a series of one day theatre workshops for children and young people in the summer holidays with a range of venues and organisations in East, Central and North Bristol.
We supported performances with The Golden Thread Playback Theatre Company.
Breathing Fire took part in a weekend for playback practitioners / companies in Bristol and Wales, venue: 'Over the Rainbow’, Ceredigion, West Wales.
Breathing Fire explored opportunities for collaboration with other theatre companies and agencies to run Forum Theatre sessions with communities in a series of Bristol neighbourhoods as from autumn 2019.
‘In Between Times’ Summit
We ran a ‘We Are Warriors‘ workshop at the summit following on from our contribution to this highly successful project working with Women and Girls last year.
We also ran a workshop in October at the men’s prison as part of their for Black History Month program.
Five members of Breathing Fire took part in Tina Gue’s 'This Is Us’ portrait exhibition showcasing images of 150 older women in the South West to mark the centenary year of (some) Women’s Suffrage. The exhibition featured in central Bristol in the lead up to International Women’s Day received great acclaim for the range and depth of the portraits and in its celebration of older women.
Six members of the group were fortunate to go out to Martinique in the Caribbean for an opportunity to extend our learning. We benefitted from a series of dance master classes that included drumming and performance skill. We returned refreshed to embed this learning into our playback performances. We gave two performances while in Martinique which were successfully received by audiences that had never seen playback before. We valued the trust audiences had in us to share some poignant stories and we feel privileged that we were able to honour them. We were also honoured to be invited by Josiane Antourel international dance artist to a private rehearsal of her dance performance prior to her devised show.
October/November We Are Warriors with 'Inbetween Times' - A sound and light installation created by Helen Cole.
Amid our hectic ‘Windrush’ tour of performances and gigs we delivered around the country throughout Black History Month, members of Breathing Fire undertook training in Digital Technology learning new techniques to improve storytelling and how this could enhance our craft. This was a form of training we had not previously received and we are now considering how we develop it further to bring another exciting layer to deepen our performances and creativity.
Tuesday 30 Oct 'Windrush' workshop and performance, Leeds, and also a workshop and performance at STUN@ Z-Arts in Manchester.
Wednesday 31 Oct 'Windrush' workshop and performances in Kirklees and Calderdale.
Thursday 25 Oct 'Windrush' workshops and performances, Huddersfield and Bradford.
Monday 22 Oct 'Windrush' workshop and performance, Falmouth University, Cornwall.
Saturday 13 Oct & Sunday 14 Oct Performance for Black History Month, Peckham, London, and Ashfield Prison, Bristol.
Sunday 7 Oct Performance Black Women 100 event. Recognising black women's contribution to the suffrage movement. Arnolfini, Bristol.
Thursday 4th Oct Poetry performances in collaboration with UWE and Bristol black poets, Bristol.
Monday 1st Oct 'Windrush' workshop and performance for Malcolm X Elders at the Malcom X Centre, Bristol and Bath Black Elders at Haile Selassie House, Bath.
Saturday 28 July Afrakan Storytelling Festival, Bears Wood Camp, Croydon Breathing Fire is scheduled to deliver a workshop at this event: African Storytelling Festival Sunday 22 July 2018 Being Romeo and Juliet, with South West Dance Theatre, at Trinity Centre, Bristol. Playback meets dance theatre - love, hate, fear, hope, duty, desire....The Trinity Centre, Bristol southwestdancetheatre.co.uk
June 2018 We delivered a series of performances in the South West focused on refugee and asylum seeking communities in support of Refugee Week.
May – June 2018 Members of Breathing Fire have been conducting research on trauma in relation to the experiences of migrant communities. Findings from our individual research will be used to inform our interactions with audiences and the creativity expressed in our up and coming performances.
Dates and places of our Refugee Week performances:
Thursday 7 June, Quakers, Meeting House, Horfield, Bristol
Sunday 17 June, Plymouth
Tuesday 19 June, Malcolm X Centre, Bristol Tuesday 19 June, City of Sanctuary, Swindon
Wednesday 20 June, Exeter Thursday 21 June, Full Circle, Bristol Thursday 21 June, Quakers Meeting House, Horfield, Bristol
riday 22 June, Chard Library
Saturday 23 June,St Paul’s Learning Centre, Bristol
7 June 2018 Black Artist on the Move Presented Ecletic on Thursday 7 June at The Quaker Meeting House, in collaboration with @ Bristol Refugee Festival. Breathing Fire Theatre Company performed “The Place I Belong”, a show celebrating the resilience and strength of Bristol’s refugee and asylum seeking Communties.
12 May 2018 Workshop Drama workshop with children and young people from Imayla at the Pinkery Centre for Outdoor Learning, Exmoor.
13 May 2018 Performance ‘Faith in Everyday Life’, The Hub, Hopcott Road, Minehead, Somerset.
17 March 2018 Sistas in the Spotlight! The Malcolm X Centre, Breathing Fire and Tan Teddy - Jamaican Folk Culture Group, host a showcase of female performance artists. Spoken word, song, theatre, music and dance! Celebrating International Women’s Day and recognising 100 Years of Women’s Suffrage in the UK. Market stalls; food and drink available for purchase; prize draw for ticket holders on the night.
13 March 2018 BSN (Bristol Survivors Network - Campaigning to Improve Mental Health Services), Bristol, UK. AGM at Unitarian Chapel, Brunswick Square. Breathing Fire performance from 3 pm. Service Users and Carers are warmly invited to 'Mental Health interACTions'. All welcome to watch and take part, or put topics up for discussion. A lively and stimulating afternoon.
3 March 2018 International Women's Day celebration drama workshop for Bristol Women's Voice at Bristol City Hall.
15 - 25 Febraury 2018 An Arts Council funded Washington DC tour in partnership with Playback Theatre sistah company Hissing Black Cat. We partnered with our Washington DC based sister company, Hissing Black Cat to deliver four playback performances and were pleased to have made links with a High School and a women’s writing group to deliver two additional performances.
We performed again with our sisters in Hissing Black Cat on our reciprocal visit following on from their joining us on our UK tour in 2016. February was Black History Month in the USA and we benefitted from our interactions with communities and people especially around the way Black History Month is celebrated and acknowledged in America. We performed in a range of settings to different community groups. We aimed to honour our audiences with their stories on issues, experiences and moments that are most relevant to them and their cultural perspectives.
We were keen to further develop our own skills, knowledge and experience and to widen our repertoire by taking the opportunity to learn and grow from the range of stories shared and themes explored during our performances, workshops and practices, and through our training with Hissing Black Cat. Check out our journey in more detail here!
NIGERIAN WEST INDIAN (UK GROUP) Annual Family Celebration Day performance, The Cornerstone Centre, London.
7 December 2017
Arts Council funded tour performance, Chard Library, Somerset.
28 October 2017
Arts Council funded BHM Tour: Toxteth Library, Liverpool. Our connections; family relationships and other aspects of our lives that binds us to others.
27 October 2017
Arts Council funded BHM Tour: Chard Library, Somerset. What does home mean? Reflecting on journeys taken to adapt to new lives and exploring concepts of home.
27 October 2017
Arts Council funded BHM Tour: Manchester Z-arts. Why understanding our history is important and the importance of speaking up and speaking out to address inequality and injustice.
14 October 2017
We celebrated Black History Month, with the theme 'Connecting with our Ancestors' at The Quakers Meeting Hall in Horfield, Bristol. Proceeds raised from our event were donated to families affected by the recent mudslide and floods in Sierra Leone.
20 August 2017
Arts Council funded BHM Tour: Commissioned performance, HMP Eastwood Park
‘My Favourite Things’ Reflecting on what motivates and inspires us; instigating and appreciating new opportunities.
Our summer public performance was at The Kuumba Community Centre. The theme was "What's Going On?"
We were part of the Celebration of African Culture taking place at Spike Island supported by Spike Island, the University of the West of England and Ujima Radio. We were proud to be performing in the line up with a host of artists.
Breathing Fire pro bono workshop for Bristol Women’s Voice, International Women’s Day event, Bristol.
Theme: ‘Take Up Space.’
Workshop and performance for Bath Black Elders at Fairfield House, Bath, former home of Emperor Haile Selassie I. Arts Council England funded (as part of Breathing Fire's English Cities Arts Council funded tour October 2016 – March 2017).
Theme: 'My World, Our World.'
We have also been featured on the Students' Union website where we took part in a poetry slam!
Performance commissioned by Womankind 30th Anniversary event, Bristol.
Theme: Celebration of 30 years of Womankind.
October 2016 – March 2017
English Cities Tour funded by Arts Council England, so far nine out of ten gigs completed, covering:
Nottingham, London, Manchester, Sheffield, Hull, Huddersfield, Derby, Bath.
Performance commissioned by Ashfield Prison, South Gloucestershire.
Theme: 'Those in black history who have inspired us.'
Workshop and performance commissioned by the drama department, University of the West of England, Bristol.
Theme: Celebrating Black History: 'How our connections shape our place in the world.'
Public performance for Black History Month
Theme: 'Moments of our Lives' focused on reclaiming our history - taking and stand, and bringing others with us.
Performed with guest artists Hissing Black Cat from Washington DC, USA.