Music, meatballs and cushion fights in the Studio next week courtesy of The Wardrobe Ensemble.

Next week we’ll be introducing you to Bristol’s hottest new theatre company, The Wardrobe Ensemble. This multi-talented group emerged from our Outreach department’s development scheme, Made in Bristol, so we’re thrilled to be presenting a double-bill of their work as a fully-fledged professional company.First up is RIOT, a show that explores a real-life riot at the opening of a North London IKEA store in February 2005, in which hysterical shoppers caused six people to be hospitalised and dozens more crushed. A tragedy of modern day mania, RIOT promises a frenzy of physicality and music.Here’s a little more on what you can expect, straight from the horses’ mouths…Who are the Wardrobe Ensemble? Well there are quite a few of us! We are Jesse (boy), Jesse (girl), Tom, Kerry, Emily, Jimmy, Ben, Edie and Helena. Some of us have graduated, others are gap year students and some of us have never left the theatre!Where did the concept for the show come from?A while back we were discussing types of shows we would like to make and a lot of us were interested in making some Verbatim theatre. We were particularly interested in basing it around a specific event. Then one day Tom came in and told us about the IKEA riots of 2005 and the story was so bizarre and unbelievable we thought we should make it.What has the creative process been like? What can we expect from the show?The creative process has been challenging and has definitely tested our endurance. It’s all extremely physical, and it’s been a while since some of us last hit the gym. But most of all the process has been incredibly informative and hugely rewarding- we’ve all learned just how much work goes into making, producing and marketing a show. As for the show you can definitely expect a lot of lamps! As well as music, meatballs, puns, cushion fights, yellow shirts, trombone acrobatics, and a jaguar.How has your time with Bristol Old Vic Young Company enabled The Wardrobe Ensemble?The Young Company was essentially our training ground. Most of the skills we collectively have were learned there, and there’s no doubt that our show is hugely influenced by its style and ethos, and we still receive a huge amount of support from them. Without Tid and Miranda, there would be no Wardrobe Ensemble.What’s next for all of you?Come September some of us are going to be starting University or drama school, and others will continue to wend their merry way down the professional theatre path. That’s the current plan. But, if RIOT goes down well in Edinburgh, then who knows…After each performance of RIOT, the company will be previewing another show called Sense, with a full run of all five ‘senses’ being performed on Saturday 18 Jun. Be sure to stick around after RIOT for this lovely little extra. We’ll see you there…


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