Q&A with Upswing


We talk to Vicki Amedume, Artistic Director from Upswing about Bedtime Stories which comes to Bristol on Saturday 24 & Sunday 25 October at Arnolfini.

Can you tell us about the inspiration behind Bedtime Stories?

Bedtime Stories was inspired in part by my own experiences as a child. My mother often worked nights and in an effort to make sure we always had our bedtime story each night at work she would tape a new tale for us to listen to the next night so we always had her voice to help us to sleep. I have great memories of those night time moments curled up with my brother and sister listening to the stories and feeling connected to mum even though she was not there. I wanted to make a show that could capture that feeling for an audience.

What can audience’s expect from seeing the show?

Something unique. I am very proud of the fact that the show is unlike anything I have seen before. It is a good fun piece of theatre with the excitement of circus and a little projection magic in an environment people that makes you feel at home (sometimes it can be quite hard time getting people to leave after the show is over)

How are circus skills used to tell the story?

We use the circus skills to show those moments where words are not enough. If this were a musical it would be the moments where we break into song, instead we take flight, literally.

What has been most challenging about bringing Bedtime Stories to the stage?

Getting the mix of all the elements to balance so that the whole show feels cohesive and coherent. Quite often when you have elements like circus and projection connected with story it can become gimmicky. We have worked very hard to create a magical space where these wonderful elements co-exist without taking away the emotional narrative at the heart of the piece.

What message would like people to take away with them after seeing the show?

I really wanted the show to be about finding time to be together. It is at the heart of the story within the show but also in the space we have created. You won’t be sitting in a dark theatre next to your family having to be quiet, you will be curled up in bed together just a few feet away from the cast with the action so close you could touch it.

What has been your single best piece of audience feedback/reaction so far?

I have two … the first was a child very loudly at the end of the show jumping up and down saying “Daddy can we rewind that and play it again?” and the second was a mum telling us that she felt the show was as much for her as it was for her kids. That made me very happy as we made it for families to enjoy together.

Have you visited Bristol before?

Yes we have been at the brilliant Dance City, part of Bristol Harbour Festival with our outdoor shows Loved Up and Red Shoes.

Finally, describe Bedtime Stories in 5 words or less…

A joyful and memorable hour.