Ship of Fools (2001)

Music performance at Ship of Fools (2001)
S301179 / Bambuco Archive

The famous Russian clown Slava Polunin heard about Bambuco through their appearance at Theater der Welt. In 2001 the company was invited by Slava to build a 60-metre-long ship as part of the 3rd World Theatre Olympics in Moscow.
                It was common knowledge that most of Europe's influential outdoor performing arts festival directors would be drawn to Moscow by Slava's reputation and so Bambuco’s attendance at the event was a crucial part of their strategy to enter the prestigious European arts festivals circuit.

Ship of Fools was the first Bambuco project where time and resources were budgeted for correctly. We were getting much better at understanding our requirements.” Simon Barley

Ship of Fools maquette (2001)
S301197 / Bambuco Archive

Their attendance at the festival was supported by a $35,000 grant from Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. While the project was ultimately successful, there was plenty of drama on the logistical side of things, with both the maquette and the bamboo held up at customs in St Petersburg. Releasing it took significant amounts of time and money.
                Ship of Fools was the start of ongoing collaborations with French fire artist company Cie Carabosse and German sound designer, Tobi Bierbaum. Scaff III was also built for Moscow, a revival of the collaboration with 5 Angry Men. Ship of Fools generated much publicity for Bambuco and opened up contacts around Europe due to the prestige of the festival and the quality of the collaborators.

Documentary of Ship of Fools (2001)
Produced and directed by Justine Spicer 
S300003 / Bambuco Archive

Ship of Fools, 3rd World Theatre Olympics, Moscow (2001)
S301135 / Bambuco Archive

Ship of Fools, 3rd World Theatre Olympics, Moscow (2001)
S301198 / Bambuco Archive