Q&A with Dom Coyote | We Can Time Travel

14 May 2019

Tell us a little bit about your background...

I’ve been playing in bands and making theatre all my life. I’ve always mixed genres and art forms, it feels totally natural to me. I’m an Associate Artist with Kneehigh and I’ve performed all over the world with them. I’m also hugely fortunate to  make my own work at the Kneehigh Barns in Cornwall. This show was born there, in the middle of an epic storm. It’s an inspirational place, you’re cut off from everything. 

In terms of We Can Time Travel, I knew I wanted to make a show that takes you on an journey, both in the story and the music. 

Musically, there are some really strong influences. Kate Bush is the big one. The longing, sweeping synth sounds set against her intricate, unusual vocal lines definitely influenced my songwriting. Kate Tempest is also a big hero of mine. There is a strong spoken word flavour. 

How would you describe your style of theatre making?

I make gig-theatre. To me, that means work that holds music and theatre equally in the performance. It’s not exactly a musical, it’s something different. It feels like a gig, but with loads of storytelling and design and ideas bubbling through. 

How did you get involved with Bristol Old Vic? 

This show began it’s life at Ferment. We shared our first ideas with an intrepid Bristol Audience. I can’t wait to show them what it’s become. I first performed at Bristol Old Vic in 2006 with Kneehigh, in Cymbeline, then Don Jon, and most recently The Tin Drum. I’m usually the singer/storyteller when I’m in Kneehigh shows. I love this place and it’s so exciting to be back here with my own work.

Photography by Paul Blakemore

What can you tell us about your upcoming show, We Can Time Travel

Well, music is at the heart of it. I play a lot of electronic instruments and sing and play throughout. Narrative plays a major part. It’s like being told a story as a child, an epic, sci-fi fairy tale.

Gecko’s associate director Rich Rusk directed and co-wrote the piece, and it’s got a real imaginative, storytelling flavour. 

What do you hope audiences will take away from it?

I hope it reminds them to grab the present moment with both hands, savour the now, to look up and speak up, to tell someone they love them, to believe that we can make the world a better place.

How does it feel touring your show in Bristol – is it a sort of homecoming for you? 

Yes! It really is, I’m so excited to be bringing this show to Bristol, it’s been a long time coming. My work takes me all over the world, and I love the sense of adventure the comes with touring, but Bristol is my home and I’m passionate about this city. To finally bring my work here, to the magnificent Bristol Old Vic is an absolute privilege. 

We Can Time Travel plays in the Weston Studio from Thurs 16 – Sat 18 May.

You can find out more about Dom Coyote's work here.