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Arnolfini - est 1961

CIRCUS CITY FESTIVAL 2019 | Contra interrogates social, historical and personal occupations of the female body and explores – literally – where such bodies are positioned and how we are meant to look at them.

Presented by Circus City and Arnolfini as part of the Still I Rise expanded programme.

Drawing from circus, stand-up comedy and live art, Contra is a solo-cabaret of contradictions.

Fierce, witty and uncompromising, it’s a highly physical show that interrogates personal, social and historical occupations of the female body. It explores, quite literally, where such bodies are positioned and how we are meant to look at them. Laura Murphy is a genre-defying queer performance maker from Bristol. She makes text-driven and dynamic physical work about things she thinks need to be talked about from beauty industry ‘norms’ to objectification. Expect scenes of nudity, aerial acrobatics, verbal explosions and explicit references to mythical reptiles.

Contra ‘straddles live art and circus, staring down often uncomfortable narratives with a bit of critical theory thrown in for good measure.’ (Francesa Peschier, Exeunt Magazine)

Contra is recommended for audiences age 16+. Contains nudity, strong language and frank discussions of sex and the body.

Still I Rise: Feminisms, Gender, Resistance – Act 3 is a large-scale exhibition of international artists, highlighting the experiences of women and celebrating their triumphs – with an expanded programme of performances, screenings, workshops and talks filling Arnolfini through Autumn 2019.


Description of the image at the top of the page: A woman bathed in red leans her head back as both her hands grip onto a rope suspended from above.