From our Artistic Director: What are the Hippos Saying?

From our Artistic Director: What are the Hippos Saying?

Zum Zum Teatre are one of Spain’s leading theatre companies and, after 25 years, have just made their first outdoor show.  Hippos comes to Hounslow on 20 July.  Three dancing blue hippos will be at Bell Square. Yes, that’s right.  Three.  Dancing.  Blue.  Hippos.  So I talked to Zum Zum about their work and their experience of making an outdoor show for the first time.


Bash Street Theatre Company rolls into town on Saturday 22 June with their new show, Bellevue Hotel.  Set up 28 years ago by partners Simon Pullum and JoJo Pickering, this is one of Britain’s oldest street theatre companies.  Now performing with their 2 sons, Lochlann and Finbar, and niece, Kesha, this is a traditional family-run company that tours all over the world.

Street theatre

Bash Street perform fast-moving, silent-comedy, street theatre shows with live musical accompaniment. 

From our Artistic Director: Stories of the World at Bell Square

From our Artistic Director: Stories of the World at Bell Square

If you read this blog regularly, you will know that, for me, the shows at Bell Square are about the stories that affect us all. As the UK struggles with Brexit and how in future we will connect with the wider world, culture can help bring us together, build a shared identity in our community, and help us stay connected with the perspectives of others in our increasingly globalised world.

So, the Bell Square shows this year come from across the UK but from many other countries, too.

From our Artistic Director: Come and be tickled pink!

The next Bell Square show is a little bit different.  A group of pink aliens will be beamed down into Hounslow town centre – and they are very curious and sociable and will want to get to know you.  However, these immigrants who arrive on our High Street have some quite different codes and conventions in how they relate to others - so you have been warned!

From our Artistic Director: Powerful Dance for Mental Health Month

From our Artistic Director: Powerful Dance for Mental Health Month

The phrase that underlines much of the programme at Bell Square is ‘stories that affect us all’.  It’s well known that 1 in 4 people will experience a mental health problem at some point in their lives, so it’s clear that almost all of us will have some experience of mental illness, either ourselves or in someone we know.  And we shouldn’t be afraid to talk about it.

From our Artistic Director: Come and Create Something Beautiful in Hounslow!

Over the years, we have had many events at Bell Square which have involved local people getting directly involved in the show.  They are always popular, and usually quite special.  On Saturday, I’m looking forward to welcoming Stalker Teatro with their project, Steli.  Everyone who would like to get involved can come and help build some beautiful, coloured structures together on the Square.

From our Artistic Director: In Krakow

It’s Sunday night in Krakow.  I’ve been here for a few days now, visiting the Ulica festival.  Ulica means ‘street’ in Polish and this is a festival of theatre on the streets and squares of Krakow.

I'm always looking for the best shows for next year at Bell Square, and I go to festivals to see around 25 shows in 3-4 days.  Festivals, though, are also a great opportunity to meet new artists and talk to other programmers, often from all over the world, and to be inspired by new ideas and new people.

From our Artistic Director: Media Manipulation & the Arab Spring

On 14 July, Catalan artists Insectotropics return to Bell Square with a performance of The Legend of the Burning Man.  This is a searching investigation into how our understanding of world events is manipulated by media.  It follows the story of how a local incident in a small, rural Tunisian town sparked protests and revolutions across an entire region that became known as The Arab Spring.