‘I went to a marvellous party’

Contact: Gemma Brace ()

A performance and installation by Tom Marshman in collaboration with the University of Bristol Theatre Collection, kindly supported by Arts Council of England.

Performance artist Tom Marshman invites you all to a marvellous party, bringing to life the fascinating personal archive of Oliver Messel, one of the twentieth century’s leading theatrical stars.

Part-installation, part-performance, the events are free and open for drop-ins throughout the day, and will be staged at three different locations across Bristol, see times, and dates below (no booking required).

As master of ceremonies, Tom will be drawing out untold stories from Oliver’s captivating world, animating the installation with timed performances inspired by a host of characters from Oliver’s personal and professional life; from Bright Young Things, to Hollywood starlets and theatrical dames.

Visitors are encouraged to explore the installation, sharing in Tom’s curiosity as he delved through the Archive, discovering handwritten letters, musings and conversations, brought to life through interweaving audio and reproductions of original material.

Tom’s shows are known for their ‘hand crafted, intimate and naughty’ approach, often both ‘humorous, high-brow, low-brow, sensory, stomach churning, conversational, and sentimental’ all at once. Join us as he turns his hand to the hidden histories of Oliver’s life, celebrated through the stories of this marvellous party.

Dates, times and locations are listed below, all events FREE – no booking required, all locations are fully accessible.

26 February, Kings Weston House Social hosted by Impermanence see website for more info (booking required for this event only). Event supported by Bristol Ageing Better.

2 March, The Vestibules (Deanery Road), City Hall, College Green, Bristol, 10am – 4pm (with timed performances at 11am, 12pm, 2pm and 3pm)

3 March, The Vestibules (Deanery Road), City Hall, College Green, Bristol, 11am – 4pm (with timed performances at 11am, 12pm, 2pm and 3pm)

9 March, Trinity Centre, Trinity Rd, Bristol BS2 0NW , 10am – 4pm (with timed performances at 11am, 12pm, 2pm and 3pm)

23 March, Arts Mansion, Ashton Court Estate, Long Ashton, Bristol BS41 9JN, 10am – 4pm (with timed performances at 11am, 12pm, 2pm and 3pm)

24 March, Arts Mansion, Ashton Court Estate, Long Ashton, Bristol BS41 9JN
11am – 4pm (with timed performances at 11am, 12pm, 2pm and 3pm)

The events are part of a wider Sharing the Messel Magic project which includes the FREE exhibition Oliver Messel: Wake Up and Dream – Theatre, Art and Society at the Theatre Collection until April 2019, for more info see the website below.

If you are 18+ and are interested in volunteering at an event please email us at or see here on how to get involved.

If you are sharing on social media please use the hashtag #messelsmarvellousparty

For further information please contact the Theatre Collection here.

Supported using public funding by Arts Council England.

Image Credit: Photograph by Vonalina Cake Photography © Theatre Collection.

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