Past Productions Perfectly Frank

On May 4th 2009 FRANC Friends of the Avon New Cut
celebrated the 200th anniversary of the opening of the Cut
with a Fun Day next to Brunel’s ss Great Britain

Inspired by the 1809 opening ceremony and party enjoyed by the Irish builders and Bristol citizens, the Friends of the Avon New Cut have organised a celebration.
The Cut was dug by Irish and other travelling labourers or “navvies”. They mainly used picks, shovels and wheelbarrows, but also gunpowder to blast a way through the rock. Mechanical excavators and lorries were not available in those days! The work was slow but was finally completed in 1809.

Show of Strength presented the man that dug the cut.
PERFECTLY FRANK The Irish Navvy who told his own story several times during the afternoon,
Frank performed 4 5 minute pieces at half hour intervals throughout the afternoon.
Written by Sheila Hannon; Frank dispelled some myths about navvies, told tales of old Bristol, informed on the technical and the celebrations at the Cut’s completion.

Bristol’s port was originally sited in the centre of the city on the River Avon. It was the second-busiest port in the country during the early 18th century, but the tidal nature of the river increasingly caused problems for ships. Traders began to use other ports instead, and a solution was needed if Bristol was to maintain its wealth.
William Jessop, a civil engineer, developed a plan to divert the River Avon away from the docks area through a new artificial channel – or cut – leaving the docks as a “floating harbour”. Work started in May 1804.

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Past Productions The Steampunk Mistress and The Time Machine

The Steampunk Mistress and The Time Machine

We’re joining forces with Closer Each Day Company to take you on a Steampunk journey through time and space.

THE STEAMPUNK MISTRESS AND THE TIME MACHINE is on board Brunel’s SS Great Britain 30 June – 4 July at 7.30 with the opportunity to explore the ship from 6.30pm.

HG Wells has left his wife to live with his young, scientifically-minded mistress. He’s writing his first novel and if it fails he’s finished. And his personal life is just as fantastic as his fiction – his mistress’s mother is sharing their rented rooms in Sevenoaks. As the pressure increases from all sides, the world of science fiction becomes an attractive alternative to reality. So attractive it’s just possible that Wells can no longer tell the difference.

Closer Each Day Company are the acclaimed creators of CLOSER EACH DAY: THE IMPROVISED SOAP OPERA. Now in its 8th year, it’s the longest running improvised story in the world AND the only serialised theatre show in the UK. Bristol 24/7 awarded SHOW OF STRENGTH ‘Best of Bristol 2018: Theatre’ and Creative Bath awarded Best Live Performance (2017) – catch our 5* THEATRE WALKS in both cities this summer and through into the autumn.


Sunday 30 June – Thursday 4 July at 7.30pm
Tickets £16/£12 concessions, includes entrance to ship from 6.30pm.
Bar on board, ends 9.30pm

Book tickets via SS Great Britain »

Past Productions Gripping Yarns: free performances in Exeter

Gripping Yarns
Sat 12 & Sun 13 May, 10.30am-4.30pm
Royal Albert Memorial Museum & Art Gallery, Queen St, Exeter EX4 3RX

This weekend Show of Strength bring objects in Exeter’s Royal Albert Memorial Museum to life and showcase writing by local people.

Watch a series of 12 five-minute monologues performed in the museum’s galleries, close to the objects which inspired them. All the monologues were written and developed in a series of workshops run by Show of Strength in March and April this year. Join us on Saturday and Sunday and prepare to see museum objects in a completely new light.

Download a performance schedule here

Gripping Yarns is a partnership project with RAMM, Exeter Northcott Theatre and Show of Strength and has been funded by Renaissance.