A spectacular multi-disciplinary show that has toured the globe for across three decades. A unique plen-air theatre extravaganza combining acrobatics, public installation, street performance, dance and music. The ‘bell ropes’ on which the ensemble perform are midi-witched and play the sounds of actual bells tuned to different pitches. All this allows the performers to alternate between intricate choreography, chamber music and aerial chaos- a physically arduous task, requiring enormous discipline from the performers.
The costume design is reminiscent of the professions of an older world- post industrial revolution workers committed to doing tasks that no-one else was willing to do: the chimney sweep, the night-soil carter, the lamp lighter. Although their work is menial and gruelling, they carry out their tasks with pride: their clothing is scuffed and threadbare, but any tears have been carefully patched, shoes gleam and their shirts are neatly pressed. They understand that although their work is never ending, without it, the world would cease to function.
The show, likewise is an impossible task that the ensemble must complete. To attempt the impossible necessarily exposes the paradoxes of human nature: joy & grief, triumph & defeat, heroism & cowardice, the personal quest for power & relying on community.
TheBELLS has been performing around the world to critical and popular acclaim- including appearances at the prestigious Auriliac Festival in France, Australia's WOMADelaide Music Festival, and winning the gold medal prize at the Daidogai World Cup in Shizuoka, Japan.
'Was it acrobatics? Was it alternative theatre?
Was it music? TheBELLS by 5AngryMen at
Federation Square was all three. This heart-stopping performance featured the unusual
combination of musical bell-tolling and gravity-defying acrobatics to the delight of crowds.'
Hannah Francis & Ebony Bowden / THE AGE
Melbourne, Australia/ 2018
“When they finish their performance, 5ANGRYMen depart as quickly as they appeared on their black bicycles- their costumes ripped and torn and their hands blistered.
There is no talk about a curtain call, the eyes of the audience members are full of tears."
Irina Miagkova / THEATRE. September Issue.
Moscow, Russia / 2000