Answer this: how far would you go to better yourself? Would you lie to your mother? Would you deny your inheritance? Would you intervene with your DNA?
The result of extensive consultation with the University of Bristol’s Synthetic Biology researchers, Invincible puts each and every audience member at the heart of a contemporary moral dilemma. This is an urgent new play, commissioned to feed into a critical debate as scientists break new ground daily.
Written in collaboration with the University of Bristol’s play-writing fellow, David Lane, and produced by theatrical pioneers, Kilter, performances take place with small audiences at ‘point-blank range’. Staged in the pressure-cooker environment of a real residential flat, three women traverse three generations as the political and scientific become intensely personal. And all along Bristol’s Synthetic Biologists will be listening.
Each performance is followed by a discussion with the cast and Synthetic Biology researchers. Then it’s up to you: how far would you go?
In 2014, the University of Bristol’s Public Engagement team approached Kilter with funding from the EU to open up the new science of Synthetic Biology to more public scrutiny and debate.
The latest phase in the development of biotechnology, Synthetic Biology is enabling scientists to gain unprecedented control in programming new biological functions by rewriting the genetic code. Whilst Synthetic Biology has the potential to contribute to finding solutions to some of the major challenges faced by society today, such as health, sustainability, scarcity of resources and energy security, this new discipline allows mankind to put ‘life’ and ‘nature’ on the drawing board like never before, raising significant ethical questions – and inviting accusations of ‘playing God’.
In order to get to grips with the enormity of the subject, the creative team embarked on a remarkable, behind the scenes introduction to the ground-breaking principles of SynBio, and the knife-edge debates around its ethics. Meeting with scientists, bio-ethicists, philosophers and funders, we have worked with several groups of devising theatre-makers to explore ways in which we could make a piece of theatrical dynamite, which simultaneously educates and promotes discussion.
Invincible aims to unpack some of the personal and societal values that sit alongside this emerging field of science, allowing audience members to develop an understanding of their individual and collective agency in shaping the future direction of science.
Friday 24 February – 7.30pm
Saturday 25 February – 2.30pm & 7.30pm
Friday 3 March – 7.30pm
Saturday 4 March – 2.30pm & 7.30pm
Running time 1.5 hours. Performances will take place in a residential flat in Clifton, Bristol. Full details will be provided on booking.
School performances run from Tuesday 21 February – Friday 3 March (excluding weekends). Please contact Sarah at firstname.lastname@example.org for further information. Suitable for 13+.
All proceeds from ticket sales to Off the Record Bristol. Off the Record Bristol (OTR) is a registered charity providing mental health support and information to young people (aged 11-25) across Bristol and South Gloucestershire.