A HEART AT SEA
Avi's recent collaboration with Half A String theatre company is an epic musical folktale told on a miniature scale. A Heart at Sea uses haunting live music to tell the story of a young Boy who bottles up his heart and throws it into the sea. Avi's original songwriting, emotive voice, and live looping weaves the audience through a tale of whales tiny boats, and beards.
The songs are set to breathtaking visuals designed by Half A String's director Peter Morton. The visuals centre around a beautifully carved wooden chest that holds the secrets to the story. Intricate puppets are swept through a transforming wooden world created by the spectacular chest.
The show received 5-star reviews when it played a sell-out run at The Edinburgh Festival 2017 in The Pleasance Courtyard, and received the Drayton Arms Pick of The Fringe Award. For upcoming tour dates please scroll down.
'The beauty of this show is indescribable'
The Edinburgh Festival Guide, 2017
‘A Heart At Sea is an emotional, ingeniously imaginative piece of storytelling'
Young Perspective, 2017
'this is a warm-hearted, joyful affirmation of life's richness'
The List, 2017
'Gasps from the audience are audible at each new revelation'
The Wee Review, 2017
'delightfully charming and immaculately produced'
Broadway Baby, 2017
Moving, truthful and darkly comic, BOX CLEVER by nabokov’s associate playwright Monsay Whitney, is a new play about one woman’s experience of a women’s refuge.
Avi features as musician and Clown in this production, performing arrangements of love songs that explore Marnie's internal life and emotional unpredictability. BOX CLEVER explores the lengths gone to to escape negative relationship patterns, and Marnie's commitment to do the best for herself and her daughter.
The show premiered at The Paines Plough Roundabout, at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2017. It was labelled 'one of the most important shows' at the fringe, by Broadway Baby reviewer Isabella Javor. Box Clever is a co-production between the Marlowe Theatre and nabokov, directed by Stef O'Driscoll. The playtext is available to purchase online from Nick Hern Books, and Avi's name is credited as performer.
'We don’t merely watch this tragedy unfold on stage; thanks to the taut script and mesmerising performances, we feel it'
Three Weeks, 2017
'It's a superb piece of writing, bubbling with bitterness yet bursting with heart, simultaneously funny and infuriating... it finds a compelling, chaotic energy, helped by Avi Simmons' clown.'
The Stage, 2017
British theatre Guide, 2017
'Box Clever has a fantastic script that is expertly delivered by the two performers. [Avi Simmons] clowning skills and musicianship gives an expressive and surreal edge to Box Clever and this makes the show feel unique and exciting.'
The Wee Review, 2017
'One of the most important shows up at the fringe this year... Nabokov Theatre Company’s unpredictable, witty, and deeply moving show leaves the audience with a truthful and terrifying insight into Marnie’s predicament.'
Broadway Baby, 2017
Avi’s 2018 collaboration with Half A String is a piece of impressive, epic, modern puppet theatre.
Boulder follows the mythical struggle of one man, rolling a colossal stone. In this reimagining of the Greek myth of Sisyphus, an intricate puppet struggles and strains to move a giant, burdensome boulder. Trapped in an endless cycle, we see the man wrestle with his pointless existence, and curse the futility of his life.
Avi wrote the original songs for this existential exploration. She performs the songs live in the production, also creating atmospheric looped voices and soundscapes alongside live cello.
Boulder is supported by the Marlowe Theatre and co-commissioned by Warwick Arts Centre & Arts Council England. It ran at the 2019 Edinburgh Festival at Pleasance Courtyard, Forth.
'Imaginative, ingenious and visually stunning… an exquisite performance from singer/songwriter Avi Simmons'
(UK Theatre Network, 2019)
'Masterful in their design and execution'
(The Wee Review, 2019)
'A superb balance of animation styles… with a series of atmospheric songs, reminiscent of heralds sharing stories.’
(The SKINNY, 2019)
Under the frozen moon
Avi’s third collaboration with Half A String is a winter theatre show for ages 3+.
It’s so cold in Nunavik that the moon has frozen! A greedy dragon has gobbled every fire and every light, leaving only the white glow of the frozen moon. You can’t feel your toes, fire freezes in the hearth, and it doesn’t even snow... but not all warmth is lost. Under the glittering stars and dazzling aurora, Amka’s family huddle together, fishing for eels and knitting plenty of hats.
Written by spoken word artist Alice Bryant, with design and story by Peter Morton (Half A String), Avi is writing 3 songs, and performing in, this heart-warming tale about a young girl on a quest to confront the dragon under the ice. The show is currently in production, ready to launch for a winter tour Nov/Dec 2019. For tour dates please visit Half A String’s Website.
Under The Frozen Moon is Supported by Arts Council England and The Marlowe.