Behaviour theatre festival 2012

Behaviour theatre festival 2012

Silence of Bees

Highlights include work by Mammalian Diving Reflex, Stef Smith Fish & Game

‘There are some performances I see and think right away, "That’s a Behaviour show",’ says Arches artistic director Jackie Wylie. Controversial American dancer-performance-artist Ann Liv Young’s The Mermaid Show – performed naked apart from a silvery tail, trapped in a pool of water – immediately blipped on her Behaviour radar (Young also reinterprets Katy Perry’s ‘Firework’ and eviscerates a raw fish). ‘She is self-consciously provocative, you can’t just sit there in your seat and evaluate what goes on. It’s very interactive, she’s very combative.’

Over the two months of Behaviour, there will be many such provocative, unexpected and envelope-pushing performances across the city. The festival is busting out of the Arches and taking over street corners, shops, museums and hairdressers. The Silence of Bees, a new piece from Roadkill writer Stef Smith, is set among the bathbombs of Lush. In Haircuts by Children, by Canadian site-specific specialists Mammalian Diving Reflex, a class of ten-year-olds will spend a fortnight learning the basics of barbering in a city centre salon. The show then consists of them cutting the audience’s hair, without adult intervention.

‘I want people to stumble across events,’ says Wylie. ‘We want to make an intervention in every day life, create a visual spectacle. Eilidh MacAskill of Fish & Game, for example, tootling around Kelvingrove Museum, the Riverside and points in between on her bicycle, presenting three events celebrating the liberating power of two-wheeled transport.’

Behaviour is also a chance to catch up with 2011 Fringe hits such as The Oh Fuck Moment, Maybe if You Choreograph Me You Will Feel Better and White Rabbit Red Rabbit. ‘We want to create a platform for the best Scottish work and put that beside companies with international status,’ says Wylie. ‘And make the city feel more fun for a couple of months.’

Arches, Glasgow, Fri 2 Mar–Sat 28 Apr

The Oh Fuck Moment

A show that won a Fringe First Award in 2011, from poet Hannah Jane Walker and writer/performer Chris Thorpe, examining the art of making mistakes, and the hilarious terror of that moment when you realise you've got it very, very wrong.

Maybe If You Choreograph Me, You Will Feel Better

Tania El Khoury offers herself up for direction in this piece of performance art. Via a dictaphone, a male audience member directs El Khoury with commands either scripted or not, in a bid to explore the relationship between female performance and the male gaze. Debuted at the Forest Fringe in 2011, this piece is the…


The Arches continues its quest to support innovative live performance with six weeks of events representing the forefront of arts practice from the most exciting international artists and their Scottish counterparts.

Bicycle Boom: Kelvingrove to Riverside

Fish & Game presents a cycle tour from Kelvingrove Museum to the Riverside Museum exploring the development of the bicycle and its influence on the lives of women over the past 100 years. Part of the 'Bicycle Boom', itself part of Kelvingrove's Very Grand Day Out.

Bicycle Boom: Cycling Gymkhana

A parade of historical cyclists and bikes, synchronized cycling and 'bizarre races' are all part of this family friendly re-imagining of the Cycling Gymkhana held as part of the Great Exhibition of 1901. Decorate your own bike for a chance to win the 'Best Dressed Wheel' prize. Part of Fish&Game's Bicycle Boom.

The Mermaid Show

A new, viscerally physical piece from edgy New York performance artist Ann Liv Young. The conflicted icon of the mermaid is her topic this time, the grotesque half-fish seductress providing food for thought and intrigue.

The Silence of Bees

A poetic and intimate show from Stef Smith, the writer of RoadKill and a National Theatre of Scotland writer-on-attachment. This site-specific tale unpacks the stories of three women from different times but linked by business, blood and beekeeping.

Haircuts by Children

Site-specific, interactive performance 'experience' programmed by the Arches as part of the Behaviour festival, doing exactly what it says on the tin: after a week's training, a group of 10-year-olds from Glasgow's Oak Grove Primary set up a hair salon and offer free hair cuts to anyone brave enough to let a child at…

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