This town is falling apart.
Welcome to Portsford, a seaside town fighting a losing battle with coastal erosion. When a sudden announcement threatens to tear the community apart, in an attempt to raise spirits, everyone comes together for a night of drinking and dancing. But as the party becomes a pressure cooker, difficult conversations surrounding shared loss of home, and collective and individual responsibility rise to the surface. But wouldn’t you rather just dance the night away?
Inspired by the UK’s disappearing coastline and drawing on our research on affected communities in East Anglia, FREAK OUT! experiments with theatrical styles and genres, blending human stories with live art elements into an offbeat, high-energy cocktail of a show. Enjoy it while it lasts because things are about to get messy… literally.
Coin Toss Collective are a company of nine ‘joyfully chaotic’ theatre-makers and performers. Our journey began in 2022, when we were selected to be the twelfth group to take part in ‘Made in Bristol’, a year-long theatre-making residency at the historic Bristol Old Vic theatre. We chose our name in a fluke moment, when one of our members suggested that we decide by tossing a coin. We thought this reflected our collaborative approach to devising theatre - playful, endlessly curious, unconventional, and open to serendipitous moments that often take our work into unexpected territory.
The first show we made together was 'A Gurt Time Was Had By All', a devised verbatim show in collaboration with director Lisa Gregan and acclaimed performance artist Tom Marshman. ‘Gurt Time’ was a live, loud and euphoric celebration of the memories of the tenants from Brunelcare, Bristol about favourite nights out from their past, jam-packed with music, dancing and humour. We employed a randomised bingo game structure, transforming their stories into an eclectic mix of mini performances and assigning each one to a numbered ball. In this way, we loved that the storyline of each performance was entirely dependent on chance, echoing how the best nights out are often spontaneous and unpredictable! ‘Gurt Time’ recently enjoyed a well-received run at the 10th Stroud Theatre Festival.
We are thrilled to be bringing our most recent creation, FREAK OUT! to VAULT Festival after a successful debut at Bristol Old Vic in July 2022. A high energy theatrical cocktail of live art, clowning and character study, this show is inspired by real stories of UK seaside towns threatened by coastal erosion.
The group have worked with Anthony Matsena (Sadler’s Wells associated artist), Adam Peck (writer of the Olivier-winning ‘A Monster Calls’), Sally Cookson (director of ‘A Monster Calls’), Tom Marshman (nationally acclaimed performance artist) and The Wardrobe Ensemble (Fringe First '19).
Cast & Creative Team PERFORMED, DEVISED AND CREATED BY THE COMPANY