Amy Rose was a consultant on the 2020 Bristol Coddywomple. This pioneering event brought live, free, Covid-safe performance to the heart of local neighbourhoods. It was the brainchild of creative producer and theatre maker, Gwen Hales in direct response to the pandemic. Taking place across eight Bristol wards on the evening of July 26th 2020, it involved over 50 performers and reached an estimated audience of 1400. The Bristol Coddywomple was a unique, experimental, grass-roots approach to arts and culture.
Thank you for putting on such an a brilliant event- I had a really great time!
We thoroughly enjoyed watching the aerial circus act, not least because the children watching were so enthralled (‘She’s going to fall down!… This is AMAZING!’) and, then, coddywompled down to see The Pigeons who, again, had the children enthralled, lots of local residents out on the street, talking and hanging out.
I had fun chasing the woddycomple. The kids loved it.
Please note, when viewing photos of this event, that the government guidelines in July 2020 did not mandate mask-wearing, allowed groupings of up to 6 people outdoors, and advised a ‘one metre plus’ distance for people outside household bubbles. Performing groups, including stewards were made up of pre-existing household ‘bubbles’. Stewards guided audiences to stay within their bubbles at safe distances.
Amy helped shape the event and advised on the challenges of presenting Covid-safe, live performance in residential streets and neighbourhoods. She influenced creative decisions, marshalling processes, procedures for managing audiences, and more. Her understanding of residential streets as ‘communities of place’, and their particular nature as both public and private spaces, helped the organisers and artists to adapt their performances with sensitivity. With the rest of the team, Gwen Hales, Lucy Heard and Paschale Straiten, Amy ensured that performers were thoroughly briefed and supported, and that audiences could enjoy live performances at safe distance.
Great work and organisation, Amy Rose and team. More like this, please, as we stumble forward into the semi-lockdown, socially distanced ‘new normal’. Bravo!
While offering culture and connection for Bristol’s communities, the project was a chance for performers to create new possibilities for live performance in response to the impact on their livelihoods caused by the pandemic. Most of the artists normally earn from seasonal festival bookings, which were cancelled in 2020 and much of 2021. Many of these ‘coddywomplers’ have continued to adapt their work since the event. For Amy, the Bristol Coddywomple was a continuation of her ongoing exploration of residential streets and estates as sites of creative, playful expression and social connection.
The Coddywomple combined Bristol’s vibrant, artist-led, DIY ethos with its strong sense of community to achieve a significant moment of creative adaptation and innovation for outdoor arts and performance.
Amy is an experienced director, performer and consultant for outdoor performance, play and participatory arts.
Please get in touch if you are interested in making outdoor arts and playful, social events happen where you live.
Gwen Hales and Lucy Heard Producers
Paschale Straiten and Amy Rose Consultants
For a full list of performers, please see the Coddywomple official website.