Sell-out theatre production Invincible returns to a secret location in Bristol

After a sell-out run in 2017, ground-breaking theatre production, Invincible, is back in Bristol once again posing ethical questions and plunging audiences into a moral dilemma about the role - good and bad - science can play in our lives.

Invincible , which takes place at a secret location in Clifton between 10 and 18 March, uses immersive theatre to address some of the issues raised by the emerging field of synthetic biology and whether scientists should ‘play God’.

The performance will drive audience members to consider the following questions: 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?

Written in collaboration with the University of Bristol’s BrisSynBio research centre and playwright 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, set in 2048, three women traverse three generations as the political and scientific become intensely personal. And all along Bristol’s Synthetic Biologists will be listening...

Synthetic biology is the design and construction of new biological entities such as enzymes, genetic circuits, and cells or the redesign of existing biological systems.

The University of Bristol is a world leader in the field thanks to its BrisSynBio research centre, which is funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), and aims to tackle important questions of global significance, such as making new vaccines or improving the yield of staple crops.

Professor Dek Woolfson , Director of BrisSynBio, said:

“The aim of Invincible is to put each and every audience member at the heart of a contemporary moral dilemma.

“At BrisSynBio we are committed to exploring the societal and ethical considerations around synthetic biology. This personal and immersive experience has shown us how these theoretical concepts could play out in real life, affecting everyday people.”

Oliver Langdon, Co-director of Kilter, said:

“This is an urgent and immersive play, commissioned to feed into a critical debate as scientists break new ground daily. In order to grasp the enormity of the subject, our creative team embarked on a behind the scenes introduction to the ground-breaking principles of SynBio, and the knife-edge debates around its ethics. The result is a scientifically robust, elegant, funny and extremely moving production.

“We hope audiences will leave our secret performance venue with an unshakable urge to get involved in every conversation around emerging science and technology.”