If you’re after exciting things to do in Bristol this March, look no further: here’s five of our favourite events from around the city…
1. RAI Film Festival
This month sees the Royal Anthropological Institute championing cultural diversity in partnership with 10 top UK universities. Taking place from 29 March to 1 April, the event features a screening and Q&A with the director of The Eagle Huntress, an inspiring tale of 13-year-old Aishol-pan (pictured), the first female eagle huntress in 12 generations of her Kazakh family. Other highlights of the festival include a talk with filmmakers from Bristol’s BBC Natural History Unit and a viewing of Those Who Jump, a powerful depiction of life as a refugee attempting to leave Morocco – filmed entirely by one such individual. Full festival tickets cost £72 with day passes and tickets to individual screenings available.
The Eagle Huntress, dir. Otto Bell
2. Sing the Blues
Fans of American roots music unite as Bristol Folk House hosts its annual Bluegrass and Americana Festival across 3 and 4 March. The packed two-day event features music from Buffalo Gals (pictured), The Hogranch, Scuttle Shake, Assembly Lane and a host of others. If you fancy warming up the vocal chords and tinkling the ivories, local musicians can contribute to relaxed open mic and jam sessions, while fiddle, guitar and banjo workshops are available on the Saturday. Tickets for the whole event cost £29, with the option to pay for single performances or workshops.
3. Chain Reaction
As fans of Scottish alt-rockers The Jesus And Mary Chain will know, the band are set to release their long-awaited, much-mooted new album Damage and Joy on 24 March – their first since Munki back in 1998. So it follows that a trip to the O2, which the cult heroes play on 29 March, is on the cards. The new album includes a re-energised new version of All Things Must Pass, as featured on TV show Heroes; and waves of distorted guitar colliding with Jim Reid’s insouciant vocals in the hypnotic Amputated – which reacts to feelings of “being edited out of the whole music business”. With support coming from Bristol homegrown talent The Shimmer Band, we reckon this particular Wednesday night will be off the chain…
4. Ceci N’est Pas Noire
In an age of increasing political tension, shows like Alesandra Seutin’s Ceci N’est Pas Noire have become all the more important, asking challenging questions about the way we perceive race, identity and sexuality. Alesandra expresses the complexities of identity through a mixture of urban, African and contemporary expressionist dance to reflect her own Afro-European heritage, proving that what you see isn’t always what you get. This is Not Black features the artist’s own personal memories and engages with the audience through a number of characters: herself, a reggae singer, a party girl and a Michelle Obama-esque politician. Tickets from £8 to £10.
Ceci N’est Pas Noire, image © Camillia Greenwell
5. High Drama
Welsh National Opera are bringing their Spring tour to Bristol Hippodrome this month for four performances from 28 March to 1 April. The first is the rarely staged Le Vin Herbé by Frank Martin, an original take on Wagner’s legendary Tristan und Isolde, beginning with a love potion mishap, and ending – as the best operas do – in tragedy. Fans of the classics need not be disappointed, as the season also features productions of two of the most famous romantic operas: Puccini’s La Bohème and Madam Butterfly (pictured). The former, reinvigorated in true WNO style, offers a new perspective on the ill-fated lives of four bohemian friends, while the latter is a crowd-pleasing, traditional take for die-hard opera fans. Tickets from £12.90.
Madam Butterfly, image © Jeremy Abrahams