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by sarah last modified 14/12/2023 12:25 PM

Look back: Duppy Hunter

by sarah last modified 14/12/2023 12:25 PM

Duppy Hunter. Photo Credit: Sophia Stefelle

Over the summer, we teamed up with Tamasha Theatre Company and BAFTA award-winning game designers Coney to develop and deliver ‘Duppy Hunter’, an interactive theatre piece where audiences are invited to embark on a playful exploration of St. Paul's, assuming the role of Duppy Hunters in pursuit of an elusive spirit hidden amongst the streets and sights of this vibrant neighbourhood.

"A great way to hear about local history while walking around" Feedback, Audience Member

Duppy Hunter was created as part of the third instalment of ENDS & TALES, a series of immersive smartphone adventures. Previous adventures have included uncovering the untold stories of the Bangladeshi community in London’s Brick Lane and Chinese community in Liverpool’s Chinatown.

Bubbling with magical realism, audiences were invited to help fictional character, Josie (played by Nadia Williams - I’m Not Running (2019), Broadchurch (2013)), track down a duppy that has become loose in St Paul's. Josie is from a line of obeah women priestesses that have fulfilled the role of duppy hunters, who hunt for duppies that are trying to capture human souls to walk the earth and leave a host open to future possessions. Through helping Josie to solve the riddles the duppy leaves on its trail, the adventure will take audiences past Stapleton Road and Pennywell Road and crossing the Danny, before heading onto to St Paul's. Promising to conjure up nostalgia and a Bristol of yore, audiences will be immersed in stories unfolding through their headphones.

The performance was inspired by the stories share by residents of St Paul’s during workshops within the community that were delivered in partnership with 'Malcolm X Elders' community group. In the workshops participants reminisced over the old shops, nightlife, community movements and music which filled their younger years.

During one workshop one attendees reflected that they were really happy that to be able to share their histories of coming to Bristol from the Caribbean in the 1960's and 70's. Reflecting that this brought back memories of their younger days attending night clubs such as the famed 'Bamboo Club' , and the underground 'Shabene/Shubs' parties in the 70's. They also remembered going coming to the Trinity Centre in the 70's when it was an African Caribbean Community Centre

Writer Duppy Hunter Dr Edson Burton and Director Hannah Adu-Boateng then created a performance that mixed a walking tour, promenade theatre, and gaming elements to create an adventure and touching intergenerational story.

In total 71 downloaded Duppy Hunter and 20 took part in the community workshops. The performance is available as a free download for anyone to experience. Click here to download now.

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