A group of cultish characters in outragous costumes encircle a low table, hands joined, in front of Newbury Corn Exchange.

The Band at the End of the World

Friday 4th May 2018
Market Place, Newbury

In this premiere show, researched and developed at 101, clown absurdism met riotous brass band music as Ramshackalicious’s devoted tribe of cult followers came to Newbury to spread the news of the imminent end of the world.

Ramshackalicious's residency in 2015 set out to use clown to explore what happens when a group of ordinary, disparate individuals come together around a shared belief that the world is going to end. Full creation of the show took place in 2018.

A specially built set, initially built at 101, then later fully developed into the final 'milkfloat' set at Slatford, was mounted on a vehicle. It became known as ‘the Battle Church', and became the flaming homemade centrepiece for devotees of the cult to share their message from.

The vehicle roved aroud town, culminating in an explosive thirty minute gathering in Newbury Market Square. Riotous music and strange, earnest rituals ensued involving the spectators, and performers hugged and welcomed members of the public to the cult.

Ramshackalicious took real life inspiration for the show’s rituals and made them their own using clown and playfulness. Rituals used in the show, played out in all seriousness and earnestness, became absurd and ridiculous – from wearing orange pom poms to fish flying out of cannons. Blindfolded audience members were circled by earnest singers, trying not to laugh while being made to feel the vibrations of their brass instruments played against their tummies.

The show went on to perform two full tours and is going into a third year of touring.

The project now ranges in scale from an intimate walkabout version up to a bespoke epic, and night time incarnations - performed with large scale casts of local non-professional performing participants & amateur brass bands.

The show has appeared at: Brighton Festival, Bedlam Fair (Bath), Out there Festival (Great Yarmouth), Surge (Glasgow), Just So Festival, Devizes Festival, Bournemouth Arts by the Sea, SpareParts, Eastleigh Unwrapped, Big Splash (Newport), Stockton International Riverside festival, Freedom Festival & Appetite (Stoke on Trent). In every show, a group of believers are entrusted with the responsibility of protecting the world, by carrying on the work of the Band at the End of the World!

Researched and developed at 101 Outdoor Arts Creation Space in 2015 with support from Arts Council England and Lytham Festival of Stories.

Fully created in 2018 with support from – Arts Council England through
Grants for the Arts, Without Walls, Sea Change Arts, Hastings Borough Council, On Set, 101 Outdoor Arts Creation Space & The Invisible Circus

Developed in 2019 with support from – Arts Council England through National Lottery Project Grants, Freedom festival Hull & The Point, Eastleigh.

The Band at the End of the World

<p>“Our vibration is your salvation. When the bell ends we shall make amends……Strengthen thy tongue, thy journey has begun.”</p>

A brass player
Image by Paul Blakemore
A man stands on a scaffold playing a brass instrument in a high street.
Image by Paul Blakemore

At Hull Freedom Festival

The Walkabout Version