Bristol Theatre News

Brunel’s SS Great Britain Launches Live Performances

Top tourist attraction brings together Bristol actors and improv theatre

An exciting new immersive Takeover Experience, is launching at Brunel’s SS Great Britain this May half term.

The shipshape tourist attraction in the Great Western Dockyard, has teamed up with the Bristol Institute of Performing Arts (BIPA).

From 25 May to 02 June 2024, students from BIPA, will be bringing stories from real-life passengers alive throughout the day across the ship and dockyard.

The Passenger Takeover is part of the ship’s Fully Dressed Project, which received funding from Arts Council England.

ss Great Britain Victorian Actors for the brand new Passenger Takeover experience
Photo by Adam Gasson / ss Great Britain

To create the Passenger Takeover experience, students from BIPA worked with both the SS Great Britain Trust and Bristol Improv Theatre.

Students were able to learn specialist improv skills as well as develop characters based on individuals who actually travelled on the SS Great Britain.

A range of historical figures will have their stories told, including those of farmers, botanists, scoundrels and merchants.

“Passenger Takeover is a family-friendly immersive experience which showcases the best of Bristol’s performing arts students,” Simon Strain, Head of Living History at Brunel’s SS Great Britain, said.

“It’s been wonderful to work alongside Bristol Improv Theatre and the Bristol Institute of Performing Arts (BIPA) to really delve into Victorian passenger stories and bring them to life as never before. The students have been so creative in their approach, and the in-situ performances around the ship during the half-term holidays will add another dimension to the sounds, sights, and smells the SS Great Britain is known for. With costumes sourced from Bristol Costume Services, who also provide costumes for leading West End Theatre and TV productions, the attention to detail and level of authentic storytelling makes this May half term very special.”

The usual exhibits around the ship will be open as usual, including the impressive Being Brunel Museum.

For more information, to book and for casting details:
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