‘Ship of Fools’, a new play from Acting students at Arts University Bournemouth is being performed in the aptly named Ocean Room Theatre at Pavilion Dance from the 23rd – 25th March.

Directed by Senior Acting Lecturer Ellie Nixon, ‘Ship of Fools’ combines visual theatre, clown, circus, dance and daring to celebrate the eccentricities, absurdities and fragility of our existence. It tells the story of a group of stowaways hidden deep in the hold of a cargo ship, who drift from port to port in a state of perpetual transit. They are the forgotten who have nowhere to go, with no country taking them and so they make their own alternative world.

Inspired by Sebastian Brant’s fifteenth century allegorical story about a group of people searching for a fool’s paradise, ‘Ship of Fools’ really highlights the talented acting abilities of the final-year Acting students who will be graduating in the summer. The actors will be wearing costumes designed by students from the Costume with Performance Design degree, with make-up applied by students from the Make-up for Media and Performance degree.

These productions give students the opportunity to perform in a live venue in front of an external audience, allowing them a taste of the future following graduation. It enables them to build upon their skills in a live performance setting, and is essential for their growth and development on the course. Director Ellie Nixon commented “This project explores the creative and cultural diversity of our graduating students. Clown is a state of being with no pre-established character for our actors to work from. The clown does not exist separately from the actor so it has to be discovered from within. In this project the students have developed their own clowns, ideas and situations within the parameters of the style. This process encourages risk-taking, allows the body to be unruly, and for the students to work in a permanent state of reaction. Playing their clowns, the students confront and revel in the notion of failure. For the actor the clown reveals the importance of openness, enhancing an aliveness on stage to be shared with the audience.”

‘Ship of Fools’ is running from Wednesday 23rd – Friday 25th March 2011 at 7.30pm with a Friday Matinee at 2.30pm at the Ocean Room Theatre, Pavilion Dance. Tickets cost £10 (£6 standard concessions) and can be booked by ringing Pavilion Dance on 01202 203630 or via http://www.paviliondance.org.uk/