067 Sophie Shaw


Gold Poster Final

Don’t miss out on your chance to attend Frissonic


Location: BRISTOL



Sophie Shaw gives you frisson

I’ve been working in At-Bristol now for just over a year and recently a few new members joined the Events Team. I met Sophie at the Christmas dinner but it was only last week that we worked our first shift together! It turns out we have quite a lot of things in common including both having a studio space at The Island, which is where she will be putting on her event this Saturday. 

Sophie used to be a dancer, but she developed an auto-immune condition that made it too painful to dance and had to give it up. “I ended up filming dancers instead and got onto the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland’s Film Production course to train as a filmmaker. However, there was something about dancing I missed. I eventually put my finger on it, it was the feeling during ensemble work where we would do a movement in perfect synchronicity to a particular moment in a piece of music. After some research I discovered this feeling was called ‘frisson’.”


Rose Rokoko’s Glitterpothecary

She wanted to see if it was possible to create an experience that was solely designed to give you frisson.(frisson, noun, a sudden strong feeling of excitement or fear; a thrill.) “I took this idea to the National Film and Television school where I got onto the Creative Business for Entrepreneurs and Executives course to develop the idea. After some mentoring from some incredible industry professionals such as Colin Nightingale, the Senior Producer of Punchdrunk and Matt Black founder of Ninja Tune, I graduated from NFTS with a plan to create Frissonic.”

In October 2015 Sophie won the Bruce Millar Drama Award to launch Frissonic, an experiential night that is designed to offer a series of immersive experiences and a bespoke DJ set. “I’m addicted to frisson. A total frisson-junkie. It’s that feeling you get when you’re listening to a particular piece of music and a shiver rushes up your spine and goosebumps prickle your skin. I’m always looking for my next hit, whether that be in the form of a gig, show or night out. We want to see if we can give you frisson. From the placement of the sound system to the lighting design, everything is designed to heighten your frisson-inducing experience.” 


Potion bottles you can find in the city

Sophie has an amazing team of people on board including the Writer of Frissonic, James Wheale. “For as long as we’ve known each other we’ve worked together, he is a dab-hand at writing interactive narratives with a particular focus on flow and creative design.” In the Production Team there is Emma Bayliss and Steve Wilde, “a team I had been working with for years on ‘2.8 Hours Later’ the world’s largest city-wide zombie chase game. Two people I know I can trust to run a tight ship.” There is also the Main Alchemy Room Programmer, Joe Man of Mystery Disco who has been ensuring the sound in the space is fully spine-tingling. “Joe and I met at a Zombie Disco where I first mentioned the idea of Frissonic, he’s one of the first people who got it and was completely on board from the very start. In a chance meeting at Paper Arts I met Kareem Cheng who ended up becoming our DJ Booth designer. He is creating a booth that doubles up as an alchemy lab – so the DJs will be mixing beats and potions at the same time!”

Creating these events is something that Sophie and her team clearly love to do. “We want to create new ways for people to experience music. We want to provide completely enriching experiences that you can have with your friends and memories that will stay with you for a lifetime. We love festivals, nightclubs and interactive theatre shows but we want to create something that merges elements of these together.” Achieving this isn’t always easy though “Creating something different is always difficult, it’s unfamiliar and untrodden. We’re merging the interactive theatre and partying world together which doesn’t naturally fit as easily as you would think.”


Earth installation teaser

Frissonic wanted to provide a platform for local up-and-coming talent. “I’m so proud to say that for the Bristol event we have managed to commission what I believe to be four of Bristol’s hottest artists to create interactive installations based on the four elements. It’s been a dream to be able to challenge some of my favourite artist’s to use their craft to create frisson for those who experience it.” 

These four artists have been given one of the four old Victorian police cells to transform into their chosen element. Each artist is very different in their disciplines and background. “In Earth you’ll find Bam-Bam, meeting a slightly unconventional Mother Nature and make the space transform from a desolate wasteland into a world of bountiful nature; In Water there’s Understory where you’ll get your tarot read and the chance to taste the flavours of your past, present and future whilst a multi-coloured storm cloud thunders above you; In Fire we have Antur who have created a fire in the cell, in order to ignite it you have to complete a series of tasks; Air is a secret installation created by an anonymous artist known only as Guts. If you find out how to access it you will be rewarded!” 

Frissonic I: Alchemy launches in Bristol on Saturday 19th March at The Island, tickets are available direct through the Facebook event page which can we found here. “We are looking to tour Frissonic around the UK providing a platform for the emerging artistic talent around in other cities and challenging them to use their craft to evoke frisson. This year all Frissonic events will be under the Alchemy theme but will be slightly different in each city as it’s shaped by it’s local artists.”

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