Interactive theatre, games and events with big ideas
Rising Ape Presents is series of immersive evening events that aims to get the public and local researchers to engage with each other around important ideas. Combining elements of pub quiz, team challenges, and discussions with researchers for an eventful and lively experience. Creating a space where ideas can be shared, discussed, questioned and celebrated. See below to check out our latest event.
Rising Ape Presents: First Contact at My Science Fair, Sunday 8 March, Wiltshire Music Centre
The year is 2026. We are not alone. A wormhole has opened to another galaxy, filled with alien lifeforms eager to share knowledge.
Local tech company ApeCorp sense a huge new market. But there’s a problem. The aliens can’t understand a thing we’re saying!
ApeCorp have invited the finest creative minds in Wiltshire (that’s YOU) to their pop-up imagi-lution suite for one simple purpose: inventing a communication machine prototype to send through the wormhole and start advertising to the alien customers. What could be easier?
Your team of friends and family is challenged to design and build a prototype communicator, tailored to the quirks of a strange new alien species and its world.
You can enter your communicator to be judged by the ApeCorp panel and the best ideas created over the day win prizes!
We’re excited about this chance to branch out of our typical adult audience and create an experience that challenges families. We hope you can join us as we attempt…. First Contact.
First Contact is one of many ace activities happening as part of My Science Fair.
My Science Fair runs 10am till 3pm at Wiltshire Music Centre, Sunday 8 March. Entry is FREE for all families.
During rehearsal last week we found a befuddled scientist wandering around backstageand demanded he explain himself.
Oi. Who are you and where have you come from?
Hi, I’m Tom the Scientist. No last name I’m afraid. I’m a pretty one dimensional character right now but I really feel like I’ve got a lot of potential.
As far as I can tell, I was grown in a big fish tank by Rising Ape Labs. I emerged last year, fully formed and ready for science and have been sciencing away in their Publish or Perish show ever since.
You seem a bit unsure of yourself. Why is that?
The problem is that my history, character and actual behaviour are all decided for me each night by this weird group of people called an ‘audience’ so it’s hard to know anything for certain in my life.
Well can you at least tell us why the show is called Publish or Perish?
As you probably know, publishing research papers is a really big deal and I’ve got a big deadline for a very important paper coming up. I should make it as long as I’m not distracted by any bizzare characters or side quests.
The ‘perish’ part is quite worrying, personally. There are rumours around the uni that a shadowy yet powerful cabal exact painful punishments on those who fail their departments. But as long as the audience make the right choices for me, I’m sure I’ll be fine. I hope so anyway.
How does it feel to have your destiny completely out of your hands each night?
It’s actually pretty exciting. Last week I had to go to the Moon to research the best way to put tiny hats on spiders. I guess it must have made sense at the time.
Wild stuff. Any advice for audience members aspiring to be a researcher?
The best way to put a tiny hat on a spider is to open a tiny hat shop. They just come in and try them on themselves!
Thanks, Tom. We can’t wait to decide your fate!
Rising Ape Collective perform Publish or Perish on Saturday 22 February at The Room Above, Bristol, as part of a comedy double bill with improvisers The Free Radicals. Book your tickets now
The return of the choose-your-own-comedy-adventure from Rising Ape, where the whole audience gets to play together.
You and your friends take control of a helpless young scientist. Your task? Make it through the strangest day of their life in the weird world of Academia, guided by the all-knowing game masters.
Mashing up live action role play, daft songs, a fieldtrip-full of improvisers and an unhealthy dose of audience suggestions, surviving the sci-fantasy world of Publish or Perish ultimately depends on you – choose wisely!
“I loved being able to vote on the outcomes and the actors’ amazing ability to make things up on the spot.”
“I’ve never laughed so much, for so long”
“It brought an audience of strangers together in a way that I didn’t think was possible!”
Special guest show: Schrödinger’s Hat
We’re excited to be hosting the Bristol premiere of comedy science showcase – Schrödinger’s Hat, the show from the amazing Free Radicals of Reading that fuses together real science and improvised comedy theatre
At the heart of the performance is an engaging and informative talk from a mystery local researcher.
The Free Radicals players won’t have heard the talk before and, without rehearsal or script, they take its themes to produce a truly astonishing comedic journey of the imagination.
Huge thanks to everyone who came along to the Island gallery and became Time Saviours over the last two weeks. We tasked you with designing and building prototype inventions so good we could send them back in time to help out/sell to our ancestors. We were not disappointed…
Yes, Rising Apecorp, and unexpected guest Napoleon Bonuspoints, were blown away by your ridiculous creations, such as:
the crocodile flail and scuba for Ancient Egyptian babies
the ice age dams built to keep doggerland and our connection to Europe open
the medieval cat armor (armor for cats)
the luxurious spa, science centre and tree house combo where the horses of cowboys could unwind
And of course the fully operational MOT Reminder cannon designed to scare off self-driving cars (literally blown away).
Well done to the two winning teams, who, in particular, brought extraordinary creativity to their solutions for the challenges of the past- or at least worked out how to suspend mannequin legs from the gallery ceiling. Commiserations to the teams coming last, we hope the Peter Kay Live DVD and George’s favourite glove make up for your efforts.
Above all, thanks so much to Creative Reactions Bristol for having us as fairly chaotic part of their programme for this year, and for the team’s support on the nights.
Enjoy the pics below to get a sense of how it all went. If you missed out, keep your browsers peeled for details of future events, we hope you can join us soon.
Join Rising Ape and Creative Reactions Bristol for an artistic evening out with a difference over two nights this May.
Ever thought a pub quiz needed less questions and more masking tape? What if Dragon’s Den had a love child with Scrapheap Challenge which went along on Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure? Then Time Saviours needs you!
The year is 2026. Time travel is an everyday reality. Apecorp have invited the finest creative minds in Bristol to their imagi-lution suite for one purpose: changing history for the better whilst making money off this extremely dangerous technology.
You and your colleagues will cut, tape and glue. You will laugh, cheer and argue. But will your team come out on top of the pitch deck?
Bring your pals, grab a drink and get stuck in as we challenge you to solve the problems of the past with your fantastic inventions, and most of all, enjoy yourselves!
In this most beautiful of Welsh valleys, we’ll be presenting Publish or Perish: Level Up, a semi-improvised mashup of choose-your-own-adventure, science satire and video game theatre.
The next evolution of our successful Publish or Perish format, this show will once again see the whole audience take control of a young researcher. Together, they’ll try make it through the strangest, most stressful day of their life (helped by an all-knowing game master) with the ultimate goal of hunting down the mythical “permanent full time position”.
I loved being able to vote on the outcomes and the actors’ amazing ability to make things up on the spot. I’ve never laughed so much for so long… (the show) really brought an audience of strangers together in a way that I didn’t think was possible!
Publish or Perish audience member
The new show is currently in development, but already we know there’ll be:
live action role play
daft songs/dafter dancing
a field trip full of improvisers
too many obscure game references
completely made up and useless science
an unhealthy dose of ridiculous audience suggestions
If even a tiny chunk of that appeals, we’d love you to join us in the Omni Tent at the festival. Will you survive the dangerous and surreal fantasy world of Academia? You and your votes will decide…
How do you save the world from the debris of satellites made of dogs? Or help children hooked on baby-steroids? Or come to terms with the Earth becoming flat? These lot had the answers.
More than 70 people crowded into the Rising Ape Corp Imagination Solution Nexus (the top of Hamilton House) to first create the pressing problems and then solve them (or at least make money off them) out of bits of scrap.
Pitches were pitched, bonus points handed out and, after a parade through the building, the winners announced in the Creative Reactions Gallery itself.
The enthusiasm and creativity shown by the teams made this one of our favourite events so far. Enjoy the gallery below to get a sense of the chaos, we can’t wait to Invent the Future with you all again soon.
Thanks to Matt Lee of Creative Reactions Bristol for the photos.
‘Is Taylor Swift really swift?’ With this crowd-sourced question pulled from a top hat, the audience of Play This Show! loaded up Publish or Perish and took control of luckless PhD student, Tom, to start their journey into the world of fantasy academia.
As ever, the course of good research never did run smooth. Together, the audience faced down nagging undergraduates, impossible deadlines, shadowy senior management figures, office equipment come to life, and overcame them all. They drank coffee, they let down their friends, they gained and (mainly) lost health, they even became a fantastic machine for measuring cow manure. They survived. Just.
I loved being able to vote on the outcomes and the actors’ amazing ability to make things up on the spot. Also I’ve never laughed so much for so long… (the show) really brought an audience of strangers together in a way that I didn’t think was possible!
– Jennie, audience member and player
Thanks to everyone for coming and being such willing participants of this weird, hard-to-describe show. Putting you in control of the action can feel terrifying so we were genuinely blown away by the generous response and the imagination you demonstrated throughout. Huge thanks also to Alistair Aitcheson and his Incredible Playable Show in the second half- Who knew we’d all enjoy becoming supermarket managers so much?
Enjoy the pictures of the nonsense below (thanks to James Pepper for the photography) and look out for the next chance to ‘Play This Show’!
We’re teaming up with award-winning game developer Alistair Aitcheson to bring you Play This Show, a night of playable and improvised comedy featuring two shows like nothing else on stage- well, like nothing else on a Thursday night in April anyway.
Publish or Perish is the choose-your-own-adventure show where the whole audience gets to play together.
Alongside your friends, you’ll take control of a young scientist trying to make it through the strangest day of their life, guided by the all-knowing game master.
Mashing up daft songs, live action role play, deadly punning photocopiers, a lab full of improvisers and an unhealthy dose of audience suggestions, surviving the sci-fantasy world of Publish or Perish ultimately depends on your choices – democracy taken to the next level!
After a fantastic couple of shows at Green Man Festival 2017, we’re really excited to be bringing this show to a hometown audience at the brilliant Bristol Improv Theatre. And if you caught it last year, there’ll be new cast members, new games and even more pop culture surprises to challenge your spur of the moment decision making skills.
The Incredible Playable Show
Created by game developer Alistair Aitcheson, The Incredible Playable Show is an interactive video game comedy show where you, the audience, take to the stage!
Become human buttons, take on the Power Rangers, zap each other with barcode scanners, and play Pac-Man using inflatable toys. Or sit back, and watch your friends literally become cogs in a hilarious machine!