Mayfest Shorts: Lookout- Brandon’s Hill

The top of Brandon Hill in the centre of Bristol offers you unrivalled views over the whole of Bristol. In the distance, there is rolling hills and vistas, close up the industrial buildings and car parks that are at the heart of any modern city. In my right hand I hold a speaker that plays music, urban and drum inflected, interspersed with a young voice telling me what he can see from the same spot I’m now standing at. Soon, this boy George, is standing to the left of me, binoculars to hand, as the voice in the speakers tells me what George will see standing at the same point in the year 2046, then 2076. He asks will I still be alive in sixty years? Well maybe, if I look after myself properly, get a bit lucky. My family seem to have good luck in living to a grand old age and ninety isn’t such a massive age now is it. I get the opportunity to ask him three questions, he then gets to follow suit.

‘What do I do? I review theatre, teach drama, work an admin job to pay the bills.

What’s your favourite landmark in Bristol? Umm….Probably Bristol Old Vic. Landmarks are attached to memories and that theatre has provided most of my fondest ones since moving here in the last two years….Plus the fact its beautiful and every time you enter its doors the history of the venue hits you.

What would you like to do over the next sixty years? ???…..

Its a loaded question which is at the heart of this small work that asks massive questions. What kind of city will George, only nine years old, from Bristol but quarter Italian so gets to spend a month every summer there, inherit from us. What will it look like moving forward; its architecture, its urban plans, its climate; if we don’t begin to focus on looking after the plane now.

Created by theatre maker Andy Field and the pupils of Sefton Park Junior School its the smallest but most pertinent show of the festival. The future affects myself, George and all of us. Time we took responsibility for it.

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