23 March 2017

Booty, baddies and beasties

What’s lurking in the shadows?

Dare to join us for a monstrous and mysterious evening adventure of theatrical performance, immersive film, dark sounds and blood curdling storytelling as we slice into the epic poem of Beowulf.

Enter Grendel’s swampy lair and be inducted into the games and training needed for the testing time ahead. Perhaps you have come dressed as a beastie or baddie already or Beowulf himself may select you for his tribe?

With an atmosphere of suspense, soundscapes, music and animations, the creatures and monsters of the museum will come alive – appearing on walls and whispering from the ceiling.

Expect swords, storytelling and rap battles as this historic tale gets retold through a contemporary lens.

A stimulating break in the action will be provided by experts who will illuminate Anglo-Saxon life, culture and gold.

A bar will be open in peacetime but maybe closed during firefights or skirmishes, so drink and sing and be merry in the Great Hall of Heorot.

Fancy dress is encouraged but by no means essential!

Please note: This event will feature strobe/flashing lighting at the end of the evening. Please contact us if you have any concerns regarding this.


7.30pm – Doors open. Bars will be open all evening outside of the battles until 10pm.

8pm – Act One: The Battle with Grendel

8.15pm – Interval, grab yourself a drink to steady your nerves and take part in some of the other entertainments and activities

8.45pm – ‘Mothers and Monsters’ by ‘The Dark Fox’

9pm – Act Two: The Battle with the Swamp Hag

9.30pm – Interval, grab yourself another drink and take safety in some different spaces

10pm – 50 years of relative peace – the life and times of Beowulf

10.10pm – Act Three: The Dragon Wakes!

10.30pm – Event closes

Be prepared to be part of the game. The evening is interactive – play your part! And help the monsters stay at bay.

Young Beowulf – Charles Brockbank
Old Beowulf – Jon Beedell
Grendel – Doug Francisco
Grendel’s Mother – Herself
Hrothgar – Richard Headon
Castaway Babe – Laughlin
The Dark Fox – Michael Smith
War Artists – Faith Bennett & Joff Winterhart
Loopy Sounds – Simon Panrucker
Keeper of the Treasure – Gail Boyle
Mother Courage – Gwen Scott

Music / Sound
Shirley Pegna, Ali Houiellebecq, DJ Dad, Jonny Steele, Dub Princess, Julia Hammersley, Richie Smith

AV, Film and Lights
Dani Landau & Rod Maclachlan
Tom Stubbs
Biggerhouse Film
Paul Gilbert

Priormade by Becky Prior

Technical support
Chloe Edgell

BSL interpretation
Sandra Barefoot

Devised and Directed by Desperate Men
Co-produced with Becky Peters and Bristol Museum & Art Gallery

Tweet your experiences of the night!

Image: © Rich Kenworthy

Developed with Desperate Men Theatre Co. Supported by Arts Council England.

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Additional information

Concessions are available with proof of identity for students, people over 65, unemployed people, disabled people (carers free), Friends of Bristol Art Gallery and Friends of Bristol Museums, Galleries and Archives.

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