Actors stage special show for pets at Bristol festival

Alex Bailey and Krõõt Juurak Image copyright Performances for Pets

A theatre show aimed entirely at animals will give paws for thought in Bristol.

Dramatic duo Alex Bailey and Krõõt Juurak are bringing their pet project to the Bristol Biennal Festival from 5-8 September.

The pair use their own research and consultations with pet psychologists to tailor their show to their animal audiences.

The idea may seem barking, but they have performed more than 80 times at the homes of pets in Zürich, Erlangen, Berlin and Vienna and hope to find some new fans among Bristol's animal population.

Image copyright Performances for Pets

The duo said the work was a "thank you" gesture to animals everywhere for their playfulness and creativity.

"Pets are such interesting and charismatic performers - you have probably noticed that if a pet comes on stage, it will instantly steal all the attention from human performers," said Mr Bailey.

The performance usually involves them travelling to a pet's home and then using a mixture of techniques, including "non-human voice and body languages", to connect with the animals.

Miss Juurak added: "Some pets, especially young ones, try to join us and we welcome them, although the performances are not necessarily interactive.

Image copyright Performances for Pets

"So much of their body language informs our performance and some of their responses involve direct interaction, like being licked or sniffed.

"Cats always leave the room at first but they always come back, they are the most ardent of observers."

Performances have not always gone according to plan though.

Once the pair turned up to perform to what they thought was a pair of micro-pigs, only to be confronted by two pigs that were same size as them who had been separated for fighting.

Image copyright Performances for Pets

The pair were also once on the receiving end of what appeared to be amorous attention from one poodle as they performed on the floor, which Mr Bailey said was "somewhat inconvenient".

He added: "When researching this behaviour we subsequently discovered that it wasn't connected to anything remotely sexual but resulted from a mixture of confusion and excitement.

"Really it was a compliment, a form of dog standing ovation."

Interested parties in Bristol will be able to book the duo for special performances in homes, gardens and streets during one-hour slots at the festival.

Image copyright Performances for Pets

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