Laura Murphy is swinging on a rope that is coiled around their bare torso. They are wearing blue denim jeans. The background is dark and their is a soft light shining on them from above. Image credit Holly Revell

A Spectacle of Herself

Laura Murphy

This event has now passed


Time: 7:30pm

Tickets: Pay What You Can (Recommended Price £14)*

*all orders will be subject to a transaction fee of £2

Running Time: 1 hour (no interval)

Age Recommendation: 16+

This event takes place in person in our Council Chamber

A cinematic, acrobatic ride through mental health, queerness, rage & 21st Century space race. 

Join Laura on a mission to serve herself up [in]appropriately for your consumption, in a bold, cinematic, acrobatic odyssey through the frontiers of mental health, queerness, rage & the 21st Century space race.

Directed by Ursula Martinez, with Laura’s critical and cheeky signature mix of autobiography, lip-sync, video and aerial rope, A Spectacle of Herself navigates the personal and political to seek out new worlds and ways to be seen. 


A testament to the transformative power of theatre’
★★★★★ Morning Star

‘A powerful and empowering piece of work’  ★★★★  The Scotsman 

‘Wildly funny and deeply touching’  ★★★★The Skinny 


A Spectacle of Herself is written and performed by Laura Murphy 

Creative Team 

Performer & Writer Laura Murphy
Director Ursula Martinez
Producer Nicole A’Court-Stuart
Lighting Designer Jen Roxburgh
Video Designer Ben Glover
Filmmaker Holly Black
Production Manager Dean Sudron
Devising Projection Designer Mark Morreau
Access Consultant Max Sutherland
Lip Sync Supervisor Dickie Beau

A Contra co-production with Le Carré Magique and Cambridge Junction.  

Supported by Arts Council England National Lottery Project Grants. Summerhall Mary Dick Award Winner 2023, Jerwood Circus Residency recipient 2022.

German language creative captioning commissioned by CircusDanceFestival Cologne. 

Supported by and created through residencies with The Island Bristol, Le Carré Magique, Jerwood Arts, National Centre for Circus Arts, La Verrerie d’Ales, La Grainerie Pôle Européen de production, Cambridge Junction and Jacksons Lane.

Represented by Aurora Nova.  

Laura Murphy is a genre-defying queer performance maker from Bristol, who makes text-driven and dynamic physical performance about things that she thinks needs to be talked about. Challenging, intimate and spectacular, her work is a cross-disciplinary fusion of theatre, live art, circus and verbal explosion.  

Contra is a collaboration between creative producer Nicole A’Court-Stuart and performance maker Laura Murphy. We make, tour and support the development of politically engaged, interdisciplinary and boundary pushing Circus work. Our practice is informed by our queer and neurodivergent leadership, as well as our shared passion for exploring the critical role virtuosic practices can have within live work. 



This event takes place in person in our Council Chamber. This space is on the first floor, with step-free access via a lift.

If you have booked a ticket you will receive an email from us before your performance detailing important information about your visit.


If you require the assistance of a friend or helper to attend, we can make a free ticket available for your companion. You can book access companion tickets online or contact the Box Office to book by 

To book a free access companion online:

  • log in to your account here
  • go to ‘Other preferences’ and tick ‘I require a personal assistant/companion’.
  • Choose the performance, date and seats you would like and if you add at least 2 tickets to your basket, then one of these will automatically become free.


All performances contain integrated captions.

The post-show Q&A on Wednesday 24 April will be live-captioned by Joanne Petre.


  • Flashing lights
  • Haze
  • Shouting
  • Loud Music
  • Nudity
  • Swearing
  • Latex balloon


All performances will be Relaxed. We invite you to make yourself comfortable and move around if you need to. If you feel you may need to leave during the show, please take a seat in the front rows. This is to support the access needs within the cast, where any sudden loud noise or persistent movement can become a barrier to performing.


We believe in making our shows accessible to as many people as possible.

We offer tickets on a Pay What You Can basis for the majority of performances throughout the year. Tickets usually start at £8, and we have recommended pricing to help you to choose a price that works for you.

We know that ticket price is a huge barrier for some, and the Pay What You Can model offers people who can afford to pay the recommended price or more the chance to support others who can’t.

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