The magic of Beatrix Potter’s The Tailor of Gloucester

We caught up with Wiltshire Creative Artistic Director Gareth Machin, who has written a musical adaptation of Beatrix Potter’s The Tailor of Gloucester along with composer Glyn Kerslake.

Gareth MachinWhy did you pick The Tailor of Gloucester, of all of Beatrix Potter’s stories, for a musical adaptation for the stage?

“This follows on from the previous two shows Glyn Kerslake and I have written together – The Night Before Christmas and Little Robin Redbreast – both of which focused very much on Christmas, so we were looking for one more story with the same qualities of anticipation and the excitement of Christmas that children love. We were drawn to The Tailor of Gloucester for that reason, rather than because it’s a Beatrix Potter story, although of course children love animals and the cosiness of Beatrix Potter’s world. It’s the same with Agatha Christie, there’s a real interest in reimagining those stories in a more contemporary way. That’s why we’ve had the different versions of Peter Rabbit through a contemporary lens. Our version of The Tailor of Gloucester is more traditional but it is a fresh retelling of the story.”

What are your own experiences of Beatrix Potter’s work, either as a child or as a parent?

“I lived in Gloucester as a teenager and I used to leave my bicycle outside the tailor of Gloucester’s shop by the Cathedral so I was very aware of Beatrix Potter as a figure. There was a museum there and her figures are very prominent in Gloucester. My son has been enjoying the retellings of Peter Rabbit.”

Why do you think Beatrix Potter’s tales endure?

“She creates worlds that children feel very safe inside. There are very memorable characters who children can relate to. Children relate to animals and cuddly toys and that all feeds into the success of the Beatrix Potter films. There are good narratives – enough happens to keep children engaged. There’s also humour and a sense of play and fun in her stories.”

The Tailor of Gloucester cast LANDSCAPE V4

What are the opportunities of adapting work by one of Britain’s best loved children’s authors and illustrators?

“There’s a lot of music in the The Tailor of Gloucester story. There’s a big moment where the cat Simpkin is being tormented by the other animals on the night before Christmas and in the book that’s all done through song and traditional rhymes. The bells of Gloucester also feature, so there was the beginning of a musical world that we could latch on to. Simpkin the cat is a wonderfully naughty character and that gives the opportunity to undercut the potential sentimentality of the piece. Children like to see bad behavior on stage and whoever is behaving badly realising they’ve done wrong and making amends so that’s useful. It’s a heart-warming story with a very simple moral. The opportunity to create something very theatrical is there because there are a lot of animals: mice, birds, fish at one point. So there’s an opportunity for puppetry which is something we haven’t done in our other shows. With the tailor we have a sympathetic character. In the other two plays we’ve written there were more traditional families and we’ve noticed the number of grandparents who bring their grandchildren to the show, so being able to have more of a grandparent figure in the show is an interesting dynamic. The character will be played as an older character who can relate to children in the slightly different way from the way parents relate to children.”

How important is it that Wiltshire Creative is making the whole show, including set and costumes?

“We’re really proud that we invest in this work for this age group. It’s hard financially making work for this age group, the performances are short and ticket prices aren’t high so we subsidise these shows. But it’s really important to be able to offer a higher quality theatrical experience to this age group and for the opportunity to share the resources that we have here. Often shows for this age don’t have those sorts of production resources behind them.”

You and Glyn have already written two successful Christmas musicals for young children, The Night Before Christmas and Little Robin Redbreast – what’s the process of writing with Glyn?

“It starts with us kicking titles around, we each pitch in different ideas. Then I write a synopsis with suggested song placements. That goes through a couple of drafts until we feel we have a solid story and an idea of the songs. I then write the script and I write what each song is going to do, and get the voices of the characters going. Once we’re happy with the script, we go back to the start and work on the songs. We work out what kind of song it’s going to be. With this show Glyn had a lot of musical ideas already. There’s a ballad that flows through the whole piece where I wrote the lyrics to his music. Normally I would write a draft song, a verse and a chorus. There are usually one or two songs where we struggle. They tend to be the simpler songs. The participation songs are tricky because they have to be so simple and it’s difficult not to make them sound like every other participation song you’ve heard. It’s really hard being simple, musically and lyrically.”

You’ve ensured over recent years that Salisbury Playhouse has something on offer for younger children over the festive period. Can you say why you think this is important?

“It’s really important. There are a lot of young children in Salisbury so there’s a big audience to reach. As brilliant as panto is, over the last few years it’s got louder and young people can find it a bit of an assault on the senses both in terms of the sound and visually. Our shows in The Salberg have grown in parallel with the change in pantomime. That’s why it’s so important that we offer these shows. There’s also something else about the space. It’s very different sitting in The Salberg with 150 people to sitting in the main house with 500 which can feel overwhelming. You’re closer to the actors, the actors interact with the children, it’s a very different experience. Even some older children find the quieter, smaller experience more engaging.”

What are the magic ingredients of a Christmas musical for this age group?

“Lots of participation opportunities to interact and for a young audience to feel they’re making a difference to how the story turns out. It needs to be no longer than an hour. It needs charming songs that work on two levels: great tunes with simple ideas but also jokes and witty lines that keep the parents engaged. Sympathetic characters with lovely actors who can represent those characters. It needs to be visually engaging so there needs to be magic in the set. Dancing, seeing the characters move around. And snow. There needs to be snow.”

The Tailor of Gloucester runs in The Salberg at Salisbury Playhouse from 9 – 28 December. For more information and tickets visit www.wiltshirecreative.co.uk.

Make a zip bag

We caught up with Teri Buxton ahead of her Make a Bag workshop

Please tell us a little bit about yourself…

My name is Teri and I work at Wiltshire Creative in the Wardrobe Department. I’ve been working in costume for over 10 years now and I’ve done all sorts of shows including youth theatre, touring, ice shows, outdoor theatre and musicals. In my spare time I’m still sewing but making my own clothes or doing various crafting projects!

When was your first experience of textiles and costume-making?

My first experience of textiles was when I was very young and my nan taught me how to do basic sewing and cross stitch. I didn’t get into costume making until I was about 16 and started helping my local amateur dramatics group make costumes. It was only then that I realised I could possibly turn my hobby into a career.

What’s your favourite part of the job?

The best part of working in the costume department is when a costume is finally on stage, and it looks just like the design, and the designer is really happy with it. It’s even better if it’s something you’ve made from scratch. The past few years I’ve been making lots of hats and headdresses for panto which are so crazy and fun to make.

What can participants expect from your ‘Learn to Sew’ workshop?

make a bag

They can expect to take home a bag they’ve made, learn new skills and gain more confidence with their sewing. I also like to make sure I’ve given them little tips and sewing cheats that they can use at home.

Using just 3 words, tell us why people should come.

Creative, fun, friendly!

Learn to Sew: Make a Zip Bag runs at Salisbury Arts Centre at 10am til 2pm on 31 October. For more information visit https://www.wiltshirecreative.co.uk/whats-on/workshops/make-a-bag/

Stand up for comedy

We caught up with Kevin Precious, our Barnstormers Comedy booker, to talk about a comedy workshop he has planned.

kevin with pink tie leaning

Please tell us a little bit about yourself…
I’m a stand-up comedian, promoter and teacher. I’ve performed at many of the top clubs and festivals in the country, and also oversee Barnstormers Comedy promotions, which largely consists of lovely arts centre and theatre shows. I used to be a full time Religious Studies teacher… and prior to that was very involved in music and bands. I dare say, if push came to shove, I could teach a bit of music as well.

When was your first experience of comedy?
It was at a try-out night in Islington. I’d prepared reasonably well material-wise, but was a virtual novice, from the perspective of performing. I got a really big laugh for my opening line, and was so surprised by it, none of the rest lived up to it really. It took about five gigs to have a consistently strong experience throughout, by which time I was hooked.

What’s best about it?
Most of the time, it’s very enjoyable… and on occasions, utterly exhilarating. Ultimately, it represents some form of creative satisfaction… the idea that one can make a living based upon one’s own ideas and creativity.

What can participants expect from your ‘Stand-up Comedy for Beginners’ workshop?
A very thorough, detailed and analytical approach to the business of writing and performing stand-up comedy. As a qualified teacher, with a wider experience of teaching, I can tailor the ideas in response to the individuals within the group. I will be well prepared in terms of teaching materials, but there will also be a level of flexibility in there, that can only come from being an experienced teacher.

Using just 3 words, tell us why people should come.
For life-enhancing fun!

Stand-Up Comedy for Beginners runs at Salisbury Arts Centre at 10am on Saturday 19 October. For more information visit https://www.wiltshirecreative.co.uk/whats-on/workshops/stand-up-comedy-for-beginners/

Further Education case studies

We caught up with two Further Education students about their time on our Performing & Production Arts courses. Here are their case studies:

Jessica started at Wiltshire College & University Centre studying the Level 3 Diploma in Performing and Production Arts, then chose to continue onto the Level 3 Extended Diploma. Jessica said: “I chose to study at the College as it was close to home, and I really liked the practical, hands-on element that the course offered in collaboration with Wiltshire Creative.”

Student JessJessica, aged 19, said: “Studying the Level 3 Extended Diploma has really helped me progress as an actor. It’s made me step outside my comfort zone and become more creative just by trying new things. Everyone on the course got on well which was brilliant. The teaching staff were incredibly encouraging and supportive and always happy to share their industry knowledge and experience with you.”

For those with a passion for performing arts, this course enables students to develop their skills and knowledge in all aspects of performing and production arts, helping to prepare them for higher education, employment or drama school.

After college, Jessica is planning to study European Theatre Arts at the Rose Bruford College of Theatre and Performance in London. Jessica said: “The performing arts course at college was great and I enjoyed every minute of it. It consolidated all of my knowledge I’d learnt so far and has helped to boost my confidence when performing – it’s really helped me to reach my full potential and prepare me for drama school.”

Amy first came to Wiltshire College & University Centre to do a Level 3 Diploma in Performing and Production Arts but chose to continue her study with the Level 3 Extended Diploma. Amy said: “I decided to study at the College as some other students on the course who I knew had recommended it to me and the practical, hands-on nature of the course really appealed to me too.”

Student Amy.JPGAmy, aged 19, said: “Studying the Level 3 Extended Diploma has enabled me to learn a variety of new skills and equipped me the technical knowledge that I did not get the chance to acquire at school. It was challenging at times, but the teaching staff were extremely supportive and allowed me to learn at my own pace to ensure I got the best out of the course.”

The Level 3 Extended Diploma is a practical, hands-on course designed for those who have a passion for performing arts who are keen to develop their performance and production skills in preparation for higher education or employment, in the professional environments at the Salisbury Playhouse and Salisbury Arts Centre.

After completing her studies at the College, Amy is going on to study a Production & Technical Arts Foundation Degree (FdA) at the London Academy of Music & Dramatic Art (LAMDA). Amy said: “Having the chance to work with technical and production management professionals at Wiltshire Creative really helped me to decide what direction I wanted to go in when progressing to higher level study at drama school. I wouldn’t have achieved what I have without the knowledge and opportunities I was given at Wiltshire College & University Centre.

For more information about our Performing Arts courses visit https://www.wiltshirecreative.co.uk/take-part/fe/

Relatively Speaking’s Caroline Harker on returning to Salisbury

We caught up with Caroline Harker who plays Sheila in Alan Ayckbourn’s hilarious comedy Relatively Speaking, which opens the Autumn season at Salisbury Playhouse in September. Caroline played the Queen in our production of comedy Handbagged in April 2019.

Caroline Harker Headshot CH 4 - PLEASE USE THIS ONE Relatively Speaking

You’re coming back to Salisbury this September to perform in Alan Ayckbourn’s Relatively Speaking. What can we expect?

“I’m playing a lovely part called Sheila in Alan Ayckbourn’s play. She’s a bit of a still point in a moving comedy world. Sheila and Philip are married and their relationship is clearly under strain. They’re at a certain age, they’ve got a lovely garden out in Buckinghamshire and into that garden come Greg and Ginny. And the situation becomes increasingly complicated and hilarious and it’s full of misunderstandings and you think all the time it’s going to fall apart but it doesn’t, it just sustains. It’s a very funny play.”

The play was Ayckbourn’s first big West End hit – why do you think that is? 

“I think it works like comedy clockwork maths. You just keep thinking that it’s not going to add up and it’s all going to fall apart. It delights because it teeters on the edge of collapsing but it never does. It’s just very funny and very clever. You just sit there in disbelief.”

You’re no stranger to comedies – both Handbagged and Relatively Speaking are comedies. Glenda Jackson is quoted as saying: “Comedy … is much harder to do than drama. It’s not true that laugh and the world laughs with you. It’s very hard to make a group of people laugh at the same thing; much easier to make them cry at the same thing. … That’s why great comic acting is probably the greatest acting there is.” Do you agree with this statement? Would you like to see more credit given to great comedic performances and comedic writing?

“Yes I do agree with what Glenda Jackson said. I wouldn’t tangle with anything Glenda Jackson said. And I do think that in comedy there should be an element of depth and in tragedy there should be an element of light. When you see an actor playing a huge tragic role and mining that tragedy for all the light and all the humour that they can, in my mind that’s the best sort of acting there is. Life is like that; sadness sitting right next to humour. You’ve got to believe the situation but you’ve also got to laugh.”

You were in Salisbury earlier in the year when you were playing the Queen in Handbagged – is it a happy coincidence or were you missing Salisbury so much you had to come back?!

“I was delighted to be asked back. I feel I’ve just scratched the surface of Salisbury and at the Playhouse the audiences are really warm and really buzzy and the atmosphere backstage is wonderful. I can’t tell you how much I like the wardrobe, everybody in there. All the backstage crew, the production office, all the offices. There’s a real mix of people but everyone is warm and welcoming and it’s been a pleasure to be there and I feel very happy to be there and have no hesitation about returning.”

What do you like about the city?

“Well I haven’t seen as much of the city as I would like because when we were doing Handbagged we never left the stage. At first I thought that Salisbury consisted of the ring road, the car park, Sainsbury’s and the rehearsal room. But it started to reveal itself slowly – and I feel that if I’d been there longer I would have discovered so much more. There’s that sight of the spire as you drive in. I used to drive in from Odstock where I was staying and I loved it although I never got up the spire because it was booked up when I tried to go.

“I liked the little market stalls that suddenly appear and I bought some sweet pea plants that are now growing very happily up a wigwam outside my front door in London and that makes me think of Salisbury. I loved the beautiful architecture. Suddenly you get this ancient beautiful building sitting there on the street. I like the nearby rolling countryside. I also like the way that Salisbury winds down at the end of the day. There’s this sort of closing up that goes on and I love that. The silence on the cobbly streets – whereas London seems to hot up at night – so I like that very peaceful feeling. And this whole crowd comes in to go to the theatre. You can see them arriving from your dressing room and I used to really like that. Our dressing room windows overlook the car park and you see people coming in to go to the theatre and they sort of pass people doing parkour at the car park. It’s just a real good mix. I found a very warm and happy atmosphere.”

Favourite places to eat? Cafes? Pubs? Any other nooks and crannies that you discovered in Salisbury? Could be hidden things, walks?

“I found a little café up an alley, but I don’t know what the name of it was. It was off Fisherton Street and it had cats in and lots of artwork and I found that a real haven. I absolutely loved that place (sounds like The Yard – Ed). I went to Boston Tea Party because they were incredibly friendly there and Eve Matheson who was in Handbagged with me, she used to go there and she told me about it and I used to sometimes sit in the window there. They were just very warm and friendly and relaxed and it was very buzzy and you could do your work. Families were out shopping for a cup of tea and a large piece of carrot cake. I loved that. We also used to go to the Haunch of Venison pub. Absolutely fantastic, we loved that place. If we could, we’d sit by the fire in the upstairs room by the little lit up hand in that little nook or we’d go downstairs. They were always welcoming and really warm and it was just perfect. We were a very small cast and we just used to sit there and chat over the day. Loved that. And I loved a Thai restaurant called the Rai d’Or in a pub. The food is so good, it’s completely fresh and delicious and they’re very welcoming. Our director told us about them and we went there a few times. I didn’t really have enough time to discover the hidden walks etc but I will do when I go there this time because that’s just my sort of thing. On the last day there I did sit under a tree in the shade under the Cathedral and thought back over my time in Salisbury and I thought it was absolutely beautiful.”

Anything that you didn’t get round to doing when you were here last time that you’ll be making a beeline for?

“I want to walk to Old Sarum, someone told me to do that, and I’m definitely going to get out, if I have a chance this time, to Avebury and Stonehenge. And I’ll find my secret café again with the cats in. I stayed out in Odstock as I mentioned but I won’t have the car this time so I’ll be living in town. I can do early morning walks across the Cathedral close, I’ll walk along the river and I’m looking forward to sitting in the Haunch with the rest of the cast and having a glass of red wine and, this time, I’m going to go up the spire. I really can’t wait to do that. There’s an awful lot more to discover about Salisbury and I’m delighted to be given a second go at it.”

Caroline Harker appears in Relatively Speaking in the Main House at Salisbury Playhouse from 4 – 28 September. For more information, visit https://www.wiltshirecreative.co.uk/whats-on/main-house/relatively-speaking/

 

A Wiltshire Tale: an excerpt

Read an extract of A Wiltshire Tale by musician Nick Harper and journey through Wiltshire’s history, landscape and wildlife.

A WILTSHIRE TALE

By Nick Harper

A wiltshire tale Photo by Lily Harper

PART THE FIRST: FARMER GILES MEETS NICHOLAS FLAMEL

 

Fleets of Bedford Rascals make like shepherds for the border

Bringing treats and tasty parcels past the grasp of law and order

To a man who mows a meadow just a mile or so from Marlborough

With his silo bins of psilocybin hidden underwater.

Moonraking making merry modern mirthful smirking mortals

As crop circle tourists circle searching for the perfect portal

And one per-centers hurtle on in bounty laden Bentleys;

The centre of their world’s beyond this county evidently.

 

Here Farmer Giles smiles gently ‘gainst a stile as if a sentry

His dog the vale air snorts a-plenty, faithful four and twenty,

Who hackles up and means to bark, but checks his master’s feelings lest

He puts to flight the figure who approaches o’er the crest

For neither know nor friend nor foe like this unbidden guest

Who settles there the stile his chair and utters this bequest:

 

“I am that man they call Nicholas Flamel who cannot die;

Quicksilver streams immortal dreams between you and my eye.

For I was here many a long, long year before big belly oak was a sapling

From the hill-fort down to the village green I saw the tribal teams a-grappling

Where Merlin’s mound bound magic in the chalk down ground and the causeway side,

Where the white horse rides in the bright night sky when the Bourne is high and wide,

Where was a hill hand-harrowed with the marrow of the barrow and the megalith henges aligned.

Now golf course buggies caddy daddies to the sand and the modern day tumuli.

 

Where Romans dropped their coins in wells and lit candles for their friends.

They came, they saw, they left and burnt the sandal at both ends.

This shire, the spear of Alfred’s Wessex put the Danelaw’s men to run,

Lashed from here to Essex with rock hard cakes and the English tongue.

 

Where Templars sharpened swords of steel on standing sarsen stones,

Where the wind cries ‘Myrtle!’ round Hangman’s tree and the old oak gibbett moans.

Once again crusaders train on the Bustard plain to flatten Saracen homes

With broadband waistline uptown download chat room ring tone ‘phones.”

 

And there at last he stopped and cast a graven eye at dog and man

And he says with weary, “I wish no more to live beyond what mortals can.”

And he reached down deep in his cloak and he offered up a pebble in his open hand

And he said, “Here have this, the stone that grants a never-ending span.”

 

Hear the rest of A Wiltshire Tale as Nick Harper recites the poem at Salisbury Arts Centre on Friday 14 and Saturday 15 September. A Wiltshire Tale is a Wiltshire Creative production. For more information or tickets, click here or call 01722 320333.

Without Walls: Max Calaf Seve

It’s just a week until our Lift Off! Weekend starts. There will be free theatre and circus on the streets of Salisbury from Without Walls, the UK’s largest commissioner of outdoor art. Here we’re profiling each of the companies in turn. Today it’s the turn of Max Calaf Seve who is bringing his performance of Dip to Salisbury on Sunday 26 & Monday 27 August.

 

Max Calaf Seve (Dip)

  1. Tell us about your show

We combine highly skilled trampoline acrobatics with live brass, electronic and percussion music. Expect light-hearted, breath-taking air twists and funky tunes with a good dose of humour. DIP1 Alex Harvey-Brown.JPG

  1. Who will the show appeal to?

It’s for all ages.

  1. Where have you performed it already?

Norfolk & Norwich Festival, Greenwich + Docklands International Festival, Hat Fair in Winchester and Stockton International Riverside Festival

  1. What’s been the audience reaction to performances so far?

The audience reactions have been really great, everyone gets into the music and loves our interaction and tricks on the trampoline! Our ‘rose pink’ suits are a sensation! Dip v2.jpg

  1. What do you hope audiences will take away from the performance at the Lift Off weekend in Salisbury?

They will definitely have fun and see unusual use of the trampoline! Hopefully some audience members who have seen my other show ‘Anyday’ will come and see Dip too!

  1. Anything else you want to tell us?

We are feeling very honoured to be touring this show and bringing it to different towns; I am especially very much looking forward to coming back to Salisbury with this new production.

Dip will be performed at the Old George Mall, Salisbury on Sunday 26 & Monday 27 August. For more information, visit our website https://www.wiltshirecreative.co.uk/whats-on/lift-off/lift-off/.

 

Without Walls: Ockham’s Razor

We’re looking forward to four days of free entertainment in Salisbury as part of our Lift Off! Weekend from 24-27 August. There will be free theatre and circus on the streets of Salisbury from Without Walls, the UK’s largest commissioner of outdoor art. Here we’re profiling each of the companies in turn. Today it’s the turn of Ockham’s Razor which is bringing its performance Belly of the Whale to Salisbury on Sunday 26 & Monday 27 August.

 

Ockham’s Razor (The Belly of the Whale)

  1. Tell us about your show

Circus meets sculpture in this breath-taking show featuring three physical performers and one live musician. The performers ride a giant semi-circular seesaw of wood and steel, a beast of a structure that weighs 800kg, which creaks and groans as it transforms before the audience. A gently rocking cradle one minute, a terrifying catapult the next. Belly of the Whale 2 by Tina Koch.jpg

Once it rocks it is a huge force with its own rhythm that can’t be fought. When you fling yourself against it, you will hardly affect it, it will fling you. But if you give up trying to control it and move with it, you can ride it like a surfer rides a big wave in the wild open sea.

  1. Who will the show appeal to?

It’s a show for all ages with strong imagery and highly physical performance with a stunning soundtrack. Ultimately we want to entertain people, not in the vacuous, escapist sense, but in a way that resonates with the audience as being truthful about life, about what it is to be human. We hope it will also be a show for people who think theatre is not for them.

  1. Where have you performed it already?

We had our premier performances at Stratford Circus and Norfolk & Norwich Festival, then we’ve performed at Greenwich + Docklands International Festival, Imagine Watford, Basingstoke B-Love festival, Miramiro Festival in Belgium and Stockton International Riverside Festival.

  1. What’s been the audience reaction to performances so far?

We’ve had some great responses so far, people coming up to us straight after the show, but also audience posting on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. People are saying that they found the show beautiful and moving and that it has lifted their spirits. And that they want to have a go! Also quite a few people have asked if they can buy the music on CD. Not yet, but if people keep asking we will!

  1. What do you hope audiences will take away from the performance at the Lift Off weekend in Salisbury?

Being touched by the beauty of what is possible to create with three vulnerable human bodies wrestling with this beast of a structure. Some of the joy and fun the performers have on stage, a lifted spirit, a smile on their faces humming the last song.

  1. Anything else you want to tell us?

Do visit our website www.ockhamsrazor.co.uk and have a look at our Facebook and Instagram. We love it when people get in touch! If you come to see the show, we would love for you to share your thoughts and post some pictures, but also do come up after and say hi. We are always happy to have a chat and answer questions about the show.

Belly of the Whale will be in the Market Square, Salisbury on Sunday 26 & Monday 27 August. For more information, visit our website https://www.wiltshirecreative.co.uk/whats-on/lift-off/lift-off/.

 

 

Without Walls: Rosie Kay Dance Co

We’re looking forward to four days of free entertainment in Salisbury as part of our Lift Off! Weekend from 24-27 August. There will be free theatre and circus on the streets of Salisbury from Without Walls, the UK’s largest commissioner of outdoor art. Here we’re profiling each of the companies in turn. Today it’s the turn of Rosie Kay Dance Company which is bringing its interactive performance Modern Warrior to Salisbury on Sunday 26 & Monday 27 August.

Rosie Kay Dance Company (Modern Warrior)

1.      Tell us about your show

RosieKayDance
Modern Warrior is a fast-paced urban takeover inspired by vintage martial arts films, kick-ass Kung Fu moves and captivating storytelling. It tells the tale of two opposing groups, the Modernists and the Traditionalists, as they meet for an epic stand-off before finding a peaceful resolution. Audience members are invited to join in the action by training with our professional dancers to become ‘Modern Warriors’, or you can simply watch as the legend unfolds. It’s great fun for all of the family!

2.      Who will the show appeal to?

Modern Warrior is a fun, action-packed martial arts adventure and appeals to adults and families who enjoy high energy performance. If you’re a fan of Kill Bill, think you have what it takes to become a Modern Warrior or are looking for something that the kids can take part in, come and join us!

3.      Where have you performed it already?

We have performed it earlier this year at Birmingham International Dance Festival, Pavilion Dance South West’s Discover, Play, Dream: Dance! in Bournemouth, and Brighton Festival.

4.      What’s been the audience reaction to performances so far?

We’ve been thrilled with how many different people we’ve had dancing with us. From CEOs of companies to energetic seven year olds, Modern Warrior has opened up dance-meets-martial arts to such a wide community. As soon as the music starts and the storytelling begins, it’s great to feel the energy from the audience and participants growing as the two sides battle for victory. It’s an exciting show to experience with a definite feel-good ending.

5.      What do you hope audiences will take away from the performance at the Lift Off weekend in Salisbury?

Modern Warrior by Rosie Kay Dance Company - Credit Dani Bower PhotographyModern Warrior is a story about two tribes that at first seem completely opposed and can’t see eye to eye. But as they clash and gain an understanding of each other, a mutual respect develops enabling them to reach a higher ground. It’s a fun piece to perform and take part in, but there is a moral subtext for those that are looking for it.

6.      Anything else you want to tell us?

Modern Warrior is a story about two tribes that at first seem completely opposed and can’t see eye to eye. But as they clash and gain an understanding of each other, a mutual respect develops enabling them to reach a higher ground. It’s a fun piece to perform and take part in, but there is a moral subtext for those that are looking for it.

Modern Warrior will be in the Market Square, Salisbury on Sunday 26 & Monday 27 August. For more information, visit our website https://www.wiltshirecreative.co.uk/whats-on/lift-off/lift-off/.

Without Walls: Candoco Dance

We’re looking forward to four days of free entertainment in Salisbury as part of our Lift Off! Weekend from 24-27 August. There will be free theatre and circus on the streets of Salisbury from Without Walls, the UK’s largest commissioner of outdoor art. Here we profile each of the companies in turn. Here it’s the turn of Candoco Dance which is bringing its performance Dedicated To… to Salisbury on Sunday 26 & Monday 27 August.

Dedicated To… by Candoco Dance

1.      Tell us about your show

Dedicated To… is a new duet choreographed by Caroline Bowditch. The piece reveals the extraordinary bonds we make throughout our lives. It’s a touching portrayal of female strength, support and friendship and how people come in and out of our lives and evolve and can shape us. GDIF 2018 Dance

2.      Who will the show appeal to?

This is a piece for all ages, dance fans and those new to dance. It will particularly appeal to people who have had an important friend or relationship and can empathise with the evolving nature of that friendship and the deep emotional impact it can have.

3.      Where have you performed it already?

Our first full-length performance was in Cairo at D-CAF festival in March 2018. Since then, we have performed the piece at Brighton Festival, Hat Fair in Winchester, International Dance Festival Birmingham, Greenwich and Docklands International Festival and Stockton International Riverside Festival.

4.      What’s been the audience reaction to performances so far?

In the words of one of our audience members in Brighton: “My 4-year-old daughter declared that it is the coolest thing she’s ever seen! Brilliantly captivating.”

5.      What do you hope audiences will take away from the performance at the Lift Off weekend in Salisbury?

Candoco Dance Company’s work seeks to redefine expectations of what dance can be and who can do it. This is a particularly emotive piece, we hope audiences leave feeling touched by the moving narrative and motivated to discover more of Candoco’s work.

 

Dedicated To… will be in the Guildhall Square, Salisbury on Sunday 26 & Monday 27 August. For more information, visit our website https://www.wiltshirecreative.co.uk/whats-on/lift-off/lift-off/.