The vaults below the Leigh Woods Tower of the Clifton Suspension Bridge are to play host to a theatrical performance for the first time ever. The vaults, which were discovered in 2002 and opened to the public through guided tours in Autumn 2016 are now to be transformed into a vision of the Underworld for the premiere of ‘Orpheus and Eurydice’, a play by Insane Root theatre created directly in response to the iconic venue.
Combining live music, singing and storytelling, the production tells the haunting love story of the soul of Eurydice, who waits in a forgotten chamber beneath the world for her lover Orpheus to return.
Building on the success of the hugely popular retelling of ‘Macbeth’ in the Redcliffe Caves, Insane Root are offering just 12 tickets for each performance to create an intimate, immersive and exclusive experience.
Producer Justin Palmer says: “As a company we are excited about finding hidden spaces and breaking down the barriers between performers and audiences: to create unique experiences that can only happen in that way in that location. When I heard about the vaults I immediately thought that this was a place Insane Root needed to see due to its exclusivity and also because the Suspension Bridge is a huge local and national icon.
The journey down and into the vaults gave us the first notion about Orpheus entering the Underworld and the main chamber felt like a great abandoned hall or church. What was just as powerful though was the noises in the vaults - the occasional thud of dripping water, the low bass buzz of a car moving far above and of course the sound of your own voice echoing around the chamber.
Working with Clifton Suspension Bridge Trust has allowed us to create a truly unique experience for theatre-goers within one of the most exciting and challenging spaces in Bristol. We are still learning the quirks of the Vaults and, although we feel we can anticipate the challenges it will throw up, the uniqueness of location means we're pretty sure it'll be a very different experience to Macbeth.”
The show begins on Friday 17th February and runs on selected dates until Sunday 12th March. Tickets are priced at £20 and can be purchased via www.insaneroot.co.uk/orpheus.