After a number of false starts and setbacks we were delighted to receive this week’s news that we can finally go ahead with our Spring/Summer Season. Although things will look different with smaller audience numbers and social-distancing measures in place we’re still really excited to be bringing some of the UK’s best touring companies and artists back into rural community spaces.
Commencing on Saturday 22 May with Cabinet of Curiosity’s paper origami workshop at Mickleton Village Hall, the season brings 54 events to 32 community venues across the three counties. Among the theatre highlights are two performances featuring women forgotten in history. Singer-songwriter Louise Jordan explores the myth of the ‘Lady with the Lamp’ in her show Florence. SOLD tells the remarkable story of Mary Prince, who escaped 40 years of slavery to become a beacon of the British Abolitionist movement. This award-wining show combines traditional African Griot storytelling fused with drumming, dance and song in an exceptional piece of theatre.
British social history continues with an energetic one-man adaptation of Robert Tressell’s The Ragged Trousered Philanthropist. This fantastic Magic Lantern show features audience participation, storytelling, songs and funny one-liners to amuse and inform the whole family.
PMac Productions’ Old Herbaceous explores rural society but that of a bygone era told through the eyes of a retired head gardener of a country house. Fans of Downton Abbey and Gardeners World will enjoy this charming tale of love and loss with gardening tips.
Identity and food combine in a multicultural feast for the senses in Love and Spice, as the Balbir Singh Dance Company fuse Kathak and contemporary dance, music and a homemade curry cooked by a chef during the performance. Dance continues with The Hotel Experience from Lila Dance where nothing is quite as it seems behind the ‘Do Not Disturb’ signs.
There’s also a wealth of live music on offer from an evocative toe-tapping tribute to French music courtesy of Fifi la Mer and beautiful original music from BBC 2 Folk Awards winner Rowan Rheingans in her new show Dispatches on the Red Dress.
Seasoned folk musician and musical narrator of the West End’s War Horse, Saul Rose joins the tour for a rare solo show whilst Flats & Sharps head to Cumbria with their fusion of foot-stomping Appalachian tunes with a unique Cornish-folk twist.
This year, for the first time we’re also bringing some of the region’s most talented artists and designer-makers to community venues for some truly participatory workshops. With artforms as diverse as origami, leather tooling and lino printing on offer, we hope the workshops will not only be a chance to learn or develop skills but also an opportunity to get together with friends, meet new people and enjoy a relaxed and creative day.