Lockdown may have closed venues up and down the country – from village halls to the London Palladium – but it’s not stopped creativity. Thanks to eight rural touring companies and the support of Arts Council England, BBC 6 MUSIC Poet in Residence Murray Lachlan Young’s magical new story of 11-year-old twins Atom & Luna starts to come to life this winter – wherever you are.
Highlights is one of eight rural touring companies and venues from across England who have got together to support Murray and new company Funnelwick Limb to create a whole new story world which can be enjoyed by audiences this winter wherever they are.
In the story, our heroes 11-year-old twins Atom & Luna are left home alone in the care of their magical child minder, Iffly Sney. But when Iffly falls terribly ill, only the twins can save him by seeking out the mysterious Old Mother Redbeard. And so begins Atom & Luna’s journey into the heart of a forest which will change their lives forever.
To begin with, audiences will be able to experience six audio tales – going back and forward in time – exploring the magical world of the forest that Atom & Luna must conquer. These are being released – for free – on all major podcast channels, Youtube and Soundcloud from 30 November. Further digital experiences will follow in the New Year.
Murray Lachlan Young said ‘In lockdown we started mining a story world that could not be contained by a single form, and rather than put the brakes on we let the story tell itself in the way it wanted to! So, we find ourselves starting with our story casts (perfect bedtime listening in the run up to Christmas). We have several digital surprises up our sleeves for Spring 21 and then the more traditional book and theatre show will follow in Autumn 21. Right now, I’m excited by how as storytellers we can continue telling stories to as many people as possible in these unusual times’.
Since February, Murray and his creative team have been busy creating the magical world of Atom and Luna. The story began to develop pre-COVID – in a residency at Kirkgate Arts in Cockermouth. But it was in lockdown that it truly took flight. With the support of the consortium, and a whole host of children responding to video tasks, the story began to take on a life on its own.
To be the first to listen and play – and find out more about how the story will unfurl – sign up to the Funnelwick Limb newsletter at www.funnelwicklimb.com and, if you haven’t done so already, Highlights’ very own newsletter below.