Have we mentioned we are producing a night to remember in Sunderland? In fact, a Great Night Out!
A Great Night Out will be held at The Point in Holmeside, Sunderland, on Sunday, May 1. The venue will be transformed into a ‘glittering dream space’ in which people will be entertained by local performers while celebrating Sunderland and South Tyneside’s proud heritage through tales and stories.
We have a unique opportunity for people with an interest in food and catering to help us to create the canapes for ‘A Great Night Out’.
No prior experience of catering is needed, just a love of food and a willingness to work as a team to create something really special, your ideas and creativity are very welcome and you will be guided through this process by North East chef, Sam Storey.
Interested? Please read on.
Can you commit any time to the following days next week?
Thursday 28 April – 9am-9pm – you’re welcome to attend at anytime during this time
Friday 29 April – 9am-5pm – you’re welcome to attend at anytime during this time
Both of the dates above will be at Sunderland College – Hylton Campus.
Saturday 30 April 4-10pm*
Sunday 1 May 4-10pm*
Both of the dates above are at The Point, Holmeside, Sunderland City Centre
*must be able to commit to these dates and times as these are event dates. If you can help create the food on the Thursday and / or Friday but cannot commit to the weekend dates that’s absolutely fine we’d love you to be involved.
If you are able to take part could you RSVP to Georgia.Shippen@theculturalspring.org.uk or phone 0191 427 8197 by 12noon on Monday 25 April 2016, providing your name, contact details and your availability on the above dates.
Please note that we are able to cover reasonable travel expenses and provide a lunch / refreshments.
It’s been a good week at WildWorks! Our application to Arts Council England for Small Scale Capital has been successful.
Quite often capital funding means buildings. We create theatre in real landscapes, for and with the people of those landscapes, and not in theatres. This means we cannot rely on the basic structures that usual venues provide.
In the woods, a castle, or a harbour, there are no lighting structures or sound installations, there is no community rehearsal space. For each project we create a theatre from scratch including backstage spaces, dressing rooms, communication systems, an office, the list goes on. Previously the majority of this is hired in equipment and necessity demands that the cost of this be included in the production budget for each project. This funding means we can create and own a sustainable and environmentally light-touch portable ‘theatre’ facility.
Phil Gibby, Area Director, South West, Arts Council England, said: ‘At a challenging time for funding in the sector, it is vital that organisations look at ways of improving their resilience and making the most of every opportunity. We are delighted to be supporting WILDWORKS to buy the equipment they need to effectively create a mobile outdoor theatre through our Capital programme so they can continue to create their innovative and exciting work in the most cost effective and sustainable way.’
In addition to some basics, i.e. tents and transportation, we have been exploring and testing equipment for the last couple of years. In our production of Wolf’s Child in 2015 we used a completely wireless sound system and a lot of wireless lighting. This meant we were less dependent on generator power, which is not only better for the environment but the magic of being immersed, lost in the woods, wasn’t broken by the rhythmic chugging away in the background that generators can produce. We were working in a SSSI so not running sound cables everywhere worked better for all concerned (especially the trees!). The actors wore speakers cleverly hidden within their costumes and the singers pulled their sound systems in shopping trolleys again disguised by props.
We played with these new techniques during research and design workshops over the last few years, sharing our ideas and testing methodologies with the bright new talent form National Youth Theatre and University Falmouth. We will now own the equipment to continue to explore this way of working, sharing and teaching of techniques with other organisations and the next generation of theatre makers.
Bill has said ‘We are delighted to be receiving capital funding from Arts Council England to develop our portable ‘landscape theatre’. This support will enable us to confidently take the work to a new level, as well as support peers to make work in this way’.
We’re all excited. We’re going shopping! 😉
Following the departure of our dear time travelling friends, we havediscovered a journal left behind in the rainforest and thought to be that of Dr Frankland. Some may argue that this journal provides evidence that Dr Frankland was in fact the super professor all along.
Of course the more politically sensitive or erotically charged entries are not for full public consumption and may never see the light of day but we have released some of the entries in the hope that these provide a sense of the records she was keeping of her momentous trip back in time and the sense of Christmas spirit discovered by all our intrepid friends and adventurers from the future.
Please visit http://yuletidearkive.tumblr.com to see the pages.
On Friday 2nd October, at the Newlyn Art Gallery, two of Wildworks’ Associate Artists organised a benefit evening dedicated to the children living in the Medina of Tunis who dream about making films and creating a better world. The aim of the evening was to raise funds for the children’s film club in Tunis, but most importantly it was about raising awareness of the situation in Tunisia and sharing the work of the incredible artists who live there.
Agnieszka Blonska and Mercedes Kemp describe the motivation behind organising this event:
“Since the Arab Spring in 2011, Tunisia has struggled with serious political and economical issues. Although it has remained democratic, the economy is strained, the security situation remains precarious and the country continuously tries to find a balance between protecting democratic freedoms and battling the forces which want to destroy these freedoms. Recent terrorist attacks at the Bardo National Museum in Tunis and in Sousse only deepened the economical struggle directly affecting the tourist industry.
Many people feel locked in and hopeless, but artists keep fighting through their art for democracy and freedom of expression. A major focus of this artistic engagement has been Dream City, the Tunis Biennale of Art in Public Spaces. This autumn WildWorks will be travelling to Tunis to participate in the Biennale. In preparation, a small team of WildWorkers took part in a two week artists immersion session in Tunis in May this year. As a result, we plan to create A Cinema of Dreams, a space where memory and hope coexist. Old and young citizens of the Medina have contributed to this project. The elders reminding us of where we come from so we may not forget. The children, gazing into an imagined future, showing us that, to make anything happen, we have to dream of it first. Two groups of children have been working through the summer creating films about hope.”
During the evening they presented profiles of some Tunisian visual artists, poets and musicians. They also had a Skype interview with writer and journalist Hatem Bourial, and poems were read by Mary Woodvine.
“In a society undergoing reconstruction, we have to lay down the foundations of what we would like to have for our future: Art as cement of a new society, art as a constructive practice and a commitment to social and intercultural cohesion. But, also art to create the new forgotten areas of exchange (…)”
-Dream City 2015, Tunis, ‘Art and Social Fabric’
All the raised funds will be spent on film equipment (i.e. small portable projectors) for the children’s film club in the Medina of Tunis.
For those of you who couldn’t make it but would still like to support the cause, please visit:
Sunday 3rd August 2014 was a unique day for WildWorks and collaborators The Lost Gardens of Heligan; 100: The Day Our World Changed was a dawn till dusk continuous theatrical event, which entranced 6000 audience members with the beautiful “living stage” that was Heligan gardens and the heart-wrenching performances from cast and musicians alike. Over 300 volunteers, from the very young to the young-at-heart, helped us to re-create 1914, by contributing to everything from bunting-making to gardening, via singing and motorbike riding. Filmed throughout, we are now proud to have a distilled version of the day available to you on DVD through the Heligan shop (link below).
From the calling of names at the three war memorials in the stillness of the sunrise, to the arrival of a lugger and the festivities and anticipations at Mevagissey harbour, travel with us through the village alongside our boys and on to Heligan gardens. Watch the boys advance, cutting through the crowd and heading to the shadows in the valley below as a symphony of spoken memory, sound, performance and pyrotechnics create an all-encompassing experience, both panoramic and intimate. At the end of the day we stood entranced for over an hour, watching the lost men depart on their final journey, listening to their names being called in a silence only occasionally broken by families applauding the name of a great grandfather or uncle as a sign of affection and respect. Stand with us and experience this unforgettable day.
Buy 100: The Day Our World Changed here
DVD includes: footage from the day, the sound track and a slideshow of 150 images.
Earlier this month, one of our Associate Directors, Sue Hill, took part in a “lock-in” at Elizabeth Castle on the island of Jersey. In partnership with Jersey Arts Trust and Jersey Heritage, Sue led a group of artists, who had travelled to Jersey from their own island nations, in an exploration of their disciplines and a study of the spirit of collaboration. You can now view a fascinating film, by clicking the link below, which will tell you more about the 10 days that Sue spent on the island, and what the artists made during their stay.
Inter-Island Artist Lock-In
We our very proud that our Associate Designer, Myriddin Wannell, has been selected to exhibit his work from our show The Passion that happened in 2011 with National Theatre Wales (See our projects page for more details) at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. Make/Believe: UK Design for Performance 2011-2015 celebrates the diversity of performance design across different art forms.
The exhibition includes the some of the costume and props worn by Michael Sheen and Mydd’s original design sketches.
When asked how he felt about being selected for the exhibition, Mydd said, “Let’s not beat around the bush it’s a massive honour to be asked to be part of the Make/believe UK design for performance exhibition, at the V&A! What a gorgeous opportunity to revisit all of those amazing photographs and prop/costume bits that now seem to have almost become modern day relics of their own.
The passion was so much more than the sum of its parts; I think it’s fair to say it was a life changing piece of work for me and so many others.
The real stars of the show are the people of Port Talbot who gave so much of themselves to the show, it’s a bit tricky to hang them on a wall in the V&A for 6 months though!”
The exhibition opens on 11 July and runs until January 2016.
For more information visit www.vam.ac.uk
This summer we are excited to be working in partnership the Jersey Arts Trust and Jersey Heritage as part of the ‘Inter-Island Artist Lock-in’. At the end of this month one our Associate Directors, Sue Hill, is heading to Elizabeth Castle with artists from 24 island nations who will be ‘locked in’ the castle on a rocky outcrop off Jersey’s south coast in a celebration of global culture and collaboration, to coincide with one of the world’s lesser-known international sporting events.
The NatWest Island Games brings competitors from all over the world to take part in a week-long festival of top level sport. The 16th biennial Games is being held in Jersey from 27th June to 3rd July and promises to be the biggest in the event’s history.
Sue will be facilitating the lock-in for the artists from islands competing at the Games, who are invited to develop their ideas and stretch their practice through a spirit of collaboration. She will guide the artists through a unique process of ‘play’ and exploration to help them to work towards a shared piece, which will be showcased to the public in the final two days of the residency.
You can read the full press release by clicking on the link below.
IIALI – International Press Release – FV
In 2013 we set up camp in the beautiful surroundings of Tehidy Woods, Cornwall and spent a wonderful two weeks working in collaboration with the The National Youth Theatre REP Company. We returned once again to the woods in 2014 for another week of wild workshops continuing our development of ideas for Wolf’s Child and furthering our collaboration with the National Youth Theatre. It was during these weeks that we were lucky to meet four of the performing company currently appearing in Wolf’s Child at Norfolk and Norwich Festival. Ellie James is playing Thorn, Sophie Ellerby plays Kas Crow, Lousia Beadel is Larch and Tomas Thompson is in the wolf chorus.
We thought we’d ask Ellie and Sophie how they were finding their time with us…
- How did you first get involved with WildWorks?
Ellie: In 2013 I took part in the National Youth Theatre Rep workshop, which ran in partnership with WildWorks. We went to Cornwall and spent two weeks devising work based on the ideas that eventually became Wolf’s Child. What’s amazing is that the photo shoot we did towards the end of that course, the images that were taken, are almost identical to how the show looks now. The vision for the play was so clear back then, and we’ve been a part of it almost since the beginning, which is great.
Sophie: I also took part in the NYT Rep course at Tehidy Woods in 2013. Wolf’s Child was at the research and development stage back then, so we spent two weeks exploring Bill’s ideas for the show, which have now turned into this fully formed beast. I also have connections with Kneehigh and WildWorks from the past.
- Who are you playing in the show and what are they like? How do you feel about your character?
Ellie: I play Thorn, who is the “Wolf’s Child”. She’s a great part to play; she’s this cool kid, who’s feisty and cheeky, loyal and vivid, and who happens to have grown up with wolves. She’s more animal than human, sort of genderless. It’s fun to play her, although there’s a lot of running involved! It’s great to work with Kyla (playing Rowan) and building a relationship with her onstage and offstage. I’ve learnt a lot from her.
Sophie: I play Kaz the Crow, who is one of the narrators of the story. Although she has a big personality, she’s not just there to tell the story, she wants attention! She’s like the naughty kid in the class who you can’t help but find endearing. I love her; I asked Bill how cheeky I could go with her, and he said there wasn’t a limit, just go with it. It was brilliant to be so encouraged to explore, and it’s meant that the show is different each night as I ad lib with the audience. I like to think that Kaz has respect for Kafka, the other crow narrator played by Steve Jacobs, who tries to keep her in line, but she gets too excited about the story, so goes a bit wayward at points… I’ve done a few crow selfies with the audience, for example!
- How are you finding life in the woods?
Ellie: I have a lot of scratches! But it’s incredible being here, and being able to inhabit the world of the play in a realistic setting, not just in a traditional theatre. It is going to be really hard to leave; everyone, cast and crew, are so lovely! We’ve become this huge family, surrounded by the woods and we’ve been working in such an organic way, that I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to go back to normal life.
Sophie: I’m lucky because I haven’t had a tick yet! Ellie’s had seven! I’m getting good at getting them out of other people. Our first week of preview shows had some pretty bad weather, but it was still brilliant despite the rain. Everyone clubbed together and kept morale high, and it seemed like the audience loved it even more maybe because it was so dramatic in the torrential rain, or maybe because they saw how hard we were all working. Myth designed me the warmest costume though, so I’m very grateful for that! I have to say as well: Richard the head ranger is an absolute don. Make sure you put that in – he won’t know what I’m talking about, but he is a don.
- How is this show different to anything else you have done before?
Ellie: We were given the chance to explore our characters and be playful with them from the start; nothing was prescribed to us, which is different to how I’ve worked before. We did a lot of improvisation around the scenes, so we have a sense of ownership and responsibility for the play as much as anyone. I don’t have any speech to work with either, so my role is entirely physical, which has been interesting; I’ve learnt how to express so much without needing words to describe it.
Sophie: It’s been a very fluid, creative way of working; Bill has been open to suggestion from the start and there’s a sense that you can say anything and it won’t ever sound stupid. There’s a tight vibe to the company; we’re all very supportive of each other so that we can create the best possible production that we can. I’ve never worked with a company so positive and friendly. We’re all living together so there’s a family ethos; its like we’re all on a massive holiday. I can’t believe it’s a job!
- Where do you go from here? Any other projects lined up?
Ellie: Like I said, I’m not sure if I’m going to be able to leave the woods! I’ve got a few auditions coming up, but nothing lined up at the minute.
Sophie: I’m going to be the assistant director on the Playing Up course, which is run by NYT. That’s at the Arcola at the end of June.
On these rainy, windy days, summer seems a long way off so it has been lovely to remind ourselves of the glorious blue skies of 3 August 2014, as we go through the footage and compile a short film to share with everyone.
You can watch it here:
Whilst this captures the essence of the day, it doesn’t show the breadth of what happened or all the amazing people who gave their time and hard work to make it happen. So we would love to make a longer version and make it available for everyone whether you were a part of the day, in the audience or didn’t manage to see it in person. Before we do this we want to make sure that there is enough interest from people.
If you would like to let us know then you can complete this quick (5 question) survey here:
We are also delighted that we have been nominated for Best Theatrical Event in the 2015 What’s On Cornwall Awards. We’re up against some very tough competition and you can vote here:
We’ve been having loads of festive fun of late – developing the Yule-tide Ark-ive for the rainforest at The Eden Project, Cornwall.
The experience is a combination of live performance, music, installations, soundscapes and beautiful lighting. One thing is for sure, it will be like no other Christmas experience!
The Yule-tide Ark-ive, carrying the memory of Christmas, has crash landed in the Rainforest Biome. Festive cargo has been scattered all over the place. A diligent crew is busy putting the memories back it their rightful crates, as well as harvesting some new memories from the Eden visitors; in order to set sail again…
The Yule-tide Ark-ive is part of Eden’s festive season and will be open on the following nights:
Saturday 29th November 4pm – 8pm
Sunday 30th November 4pm – 7pm
Friday 5th December 4pm – 7pm
Saturday 6th December 4pm – 8pm
Sunday 7th December 4pm – 7pm
Friday 12th December 4pm – 7pm
Saturday 13th December 4pm – 8pm
Sunday 14th December 4pm – 7pm
Monday 15th December 4pm – 7pm
Tuesday 16th December 4pm – 7pm
Wednesday 17th December 4pm – 7pm
Thursday 18th December 4pm – 7pm
Friday 19th December 4pm – 8pm
Saturday 20th December 4pm – 8pm
Sunday 21st December 4pm – 8pm
Monday 22nd December 4pm – 8pm
Tuesday 23rd December 4pm – 8pm
Saturday 27th December 4pm – 6pm
Sunday 28th December 4pm – 6pm
Monday 29th December 4pm – 6pm
Tuesday 30th December 4pm – 6pm
Visit Eden’s website for more details – there’s ice skating and a Father Christmas show each evening too.
We need your help.
Working in partnership with Zap Art, we are exploring possibilities for a major international project, in which we turn our creative gaze to the notion of HOME. We believe this is an important theme to consider at the point at which our global actions are defining the 21st century; at a point when personal and community resilience has never been such an essential asset in a world where complex and unrelenting change feels beyond our control. We want to explore what we need around us to feel at home, what we can learn from different cultures about new ways to cohabit and grow.
We are exploring stories of home and homelessness; rootedness and migrancy; belonging and displacement; access and exclusion. We need to ask if our existing assumptions and understandings about HOME represent the reality of living in our rapidly transforming world. We believe we need to redefine our sense of what constitutes HOME and that we should do that together across communities, across barriers, across borders.
What is it? Bricks and mortar? A familiar sky and landscape? A group of people? A sense of confidence? Something we need others to recognise? How do we create a sense of “at-homeness” in the midst of evolution, shifts and turmoil?
In November and December 2014 a small team of WildWorkers are going to Soweto, Mumbai and Rio. What shall we ask? We will be asking questions such as:
‘Why do you call this home?’
‘What do you most value about where you live?’
‘Is there something in particular that makes you feel at home?’
‘What would you miss most if you left here?’
Is home a suitcase?
Is home a food?
Is home a language?
Is home a person?
Describe home in three words
Describe home in three objects
Is there a question that you would like us to ask? Something you would like to know about any of those places? If so – get in touch with us by:
- tweeting a question to @wild_works
- Emailing a question to firstname.lastname@example.org
- Adding a comment to our Facebook post or blog post
Home has been conceived by Dave Reeves with Bill Mitchell. Zap Art has received public funding from the National Lottery through Arts Council England for the research and development of ideas for this project with WildWorks as artistic lead.
Earlier this year, the brilliant National Youth Theatre Rep Company 2014 adventured down to Cornwall to come and run wild with us around Tehidy Woods. We spent a wonderful week exploring techniques of site-specific landscape theatre… If you’ve not had a chance to see it yet, here’s some of the talented bunch recalling memories of the week.
WildWorkshops – NYT Rep 2014 from WILDWORKS on Vimeo.
Maps of Mevagissey and the Lost Gardens of Heligan with schedule of events for 100: The Day Our World Changed.
Meva map and schedule
Heligan map and schedule
The Lost Gardens of Heligan and Wildworks Theatre Company are working together to make 100: The Day Our World Changed. This will be a unique day of remembrance and commemoration to mark the outbreak of World War 1. The day will re-tell and re-live the lives of the brave men who went to war and the families they left behind. It’s a day for the community, about the community and involving as much of the community as possible.
August 3rd 2014 Wildworks are creating a special day of remembrance 100: The Day Our World Changed at the Lost Gardens of Heligan. Wildworks have involved the local community in Mevagissey, Goran and Pentewan. Local Harry Gooby is playing a wounded soldier in a war hospital and drawing inspiration from his Great Uncle Captain Roy Molyneux Quilter who fought and was sadly lost in the Great War.
Within 100 years of each other Roy Molyneux Quilter and I went to the same school and his name sat on our war memorial. I obviously never knew him or his younger brother Keith (my great grandfather) but to see the name Quilter which I have such a strong connection with makes me wonder of the stories that surrounded him and his close family. I would of walked the same streets and corridors that Roy and Keith would of and this is all I really know of them both. One died in WW1 and one survived, both served in the army. I dedicate more thought to them then any other distant deceased relatives I have. This must be true of countless families effected by WW1 with their own unique stories and feelings. I feel very lucky and proud to be in knowledge of these items and to mentally use them in Wildworks commemorations this coming Sunday.
Same school, same family, very different lives.
Harry Gooby 2014
This is my Mom’s father’s father, Mine Captain Richard Harry, at the top of the Harry Shaft at the New Almaden Quicksilver Mine, south of San Francisco. He changed my life by leaving Godolphin Cross in Breage Parish to come to California to the gold fields.
Cali Cornish runs the California Cornish Cousins
This is a photo of my Mom’s mother’s family, with my great uncle Leslie Lory in WWI uniform (on left) They were the Lory family, immigrants from St. Keverne on the Lizard. They changed my life by leaving Cornwall for America.
I am very proud of my Cornish blood, as you can tell my Mom was full Cornish, though born in California. She taught me to garden and make pasties and saffron buns and we had a framed map of Cornwall in our home.
Cali Cornish runs the California Cornish Cousins
To herald our performance 100: The Day our World Changed at The Lost Gardens of Heligan we have given our twitter feed to a 1914 Motorcyclist who witnessed the shooting in Sarajevo of the Archduke Ferdinand. Now he rides across Europe to bring news of the impending war home to Mevagissey
Motorcyclist – E.J.A. Couch
Born Mevagissey 1874. Educated at Truro Grammar School and Trinity College, Oxford. Joined the Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry and served as a Lieutenant in the 2nd Battalion in the Second Boer War. On the Regiment’s return to Cornwall he resigned his commission and took up a Fellowship at Trinity. He has published several works of history and a volume of war poetry. A noted traveller, when at home in Mevagissey he often goes out with the fishing fleet and maintains his collection of motorcycles.
13th July 2014 5pm, Prague has risen before against the Empire. When all is over, who knows what new borders there may be.
13th July 2014 3pm, The purposes of empires: glory, but also money. Prague grows in resentment but still they will fight, against their own interests.
13th July 2014 11am, July 13th 1914: Prague, a conquered city, not a city of conquerors. Still no message at the telegraph office.
12th July 2014 5pm, I come to Prague, watched by statues on the rooftops as silent as those resentful infantry; this is empire, not Imperialist.
12th July 2014 3pm, On the roadside, victualling between silent forests, a sullen column of soldiers, grey clad, so unlike the peacocks of Vienna.
12th July 2014 1pm, Into Bohemia, a long day’s ride. Passing, I frighten horses, threatening their laden carts. At their heads the peasants fight for control.
12th July 2014 11am, July 12th 1914: North West from Vienna into the hills and forests of dark Europe. I feel so far from the great plain of Hungary.
11th July 2014 5pm, Carrying this burden alone, tomorrow I leave for the true heart of this spiral, Berlin, via Prague. I must foresee the worst that will be.
11th July 2014 3pm, I place telephone calls to those few I know with an apparatus, to the Foreign Office. I need to speak, to say what I have seen. None reply.
11th July 2014 1pm, In Sarajevo, in Belgrade, in Budapest: I found no replies to my warnings. And now here, the same silence. Will nobody hear me?
11th July 2014 11am, July 11th 1914: to the telegraph office through the strutting streets, seeking messages from home. Nothing awaits me.
10th July 2014 5pm, The fear here is that Russia will go to war on behalf of Serbia. German collaboration is necessary to deter this.
10th July 2014 3pm, An ultimatum to Serbia is being prepared. It will be designed to be impossible to satisfy. Then – war.
10th July 2014 1pm, The city is full of talk and preparation. The Ministerial Council has been meeting. Meanwhile the German Kaiser has gone on holiday.
10th July 2014 11am, July 10th 1914 Vienna. There is much excitement about events. At breakfast I am asked for news from the east. I pretend not to understand.
9th July 2014 5pm, Why do we not simply say no to this? Why do we everlastingly accord with war, defer to the warriors?
9th July 2014 3pm, Austria-Hungary is renewing itself for war, calling up reservists who are seen to leave their homes in every town. So many sorrows.
9th July 2014 1pm, Riding through fertile land, everlastingly flat, perfect for supplying men under arms.
9th July 2014 11am, July 9th 1914: early on the road to Vienna the true heart of this war-built empire. Much activity around the railway yards.
8th July 2014 5pm, Evening in another strange city. I feel a new solitude. Is nobody hearing these warning messages? Why does no one reply?
8th July 2014 4pm, The newspapers and cafés are full of the German Kaiser’s ‘blank cheque’ to Austria-Hungary to do as they please with the Serbs
8th July 2014 1pm, Budapest does not feel itself the equal of Vienna in the empire. Resentment against Austria burns – another issue in the horror awaiting us
8th July 2014 11am, July 8th 1914, Budapest- Heroes Square, huge new statues of the Seven Magyar Chieftains seem to glare their approval of the coming inferno.
7th July 2014 5pm, In late afternoon I arrive in Budapest, twin capital of this ageing empire. Stupid plumed noblemen parade moustaches and sabres.
7th July 2014 3pm, Wars have flowed through here since times before time, taking everything. Who of these people understood why they suffered? Who would care?
7th July 2014 1pm, I ride through flat lands. It is easy to imagine great armies of history sweeping across this plain. Soon they will again.
7th July 2014 11am, July 7th 1914. Subotica is a town of Serbs, Hungarians, Jews together. Soon these people will kill each other on behalf of others.
6th July 2014 5pm, The incident at the border leaves me behind schedule. I push on into the evening but am forced to stop at a town called Subotica.
6th July 2014 3pm, At the border, suspicious eyes ask why I cross. I say there is no war yet, demand free passage. Then the Triumph will not start.
6th July 2014 2pm,I pedal to no avail. The Hungarians laugh, then push till the engine fires. We drink Tokai to each other. To Peace. But soon we will war.
6th July 2014 11am, July 6th 1914: away at dawn on the road to Budapest, crossing into Austria-Hungary almost immediately. Belgrade is vulnerable.
5th July 2014 midday, I realise my plans have changed. I no longer aim for the sun of the south but for the war furnaces of the North in the old blood trade
5th July 2014 9am, Nationalism is the new word I hear: the errant child of the merchant states who must manipulate their masses to believe that they exist
5th July 2014 7am, Serbia gains by eating away at decaying Habsburgs to the North, Ottomans to the South. It is wild youth spoiling for a fight.
5th July 2014 5pm, July 5th 1914. Ours is an old Empire. Here the old is abraded by the new: fading Austria Hungary, upstart Serbia. Both must try their luck.
5th July 2014 4am, Evening: Belgrade. I hear talk of Princip the hero, killing for the honour of the Slavs, the creation of a pan-Slavic state: Yugoslavia.
5th July 2014 3pm, When you ride you’re alone. You think. Behind Austria-Hungary, before, Serbia. Imagined lines. If no one drew maps could there ever be war?
5th July 2014 17pm, Noon: the Serbian border. Soldiers watch each other across the Drina Bridge, waiting for the war all their leaders want, on their own terms
5th July 2014 11am, July 5th 1914: with first light I leave Sarajevo for Belgrade. The Triumph runs well through the wooded valleys, plains and farms.
4th July 2014 5pm, I will leave Sarajevo at dawn. Thank God. I believe I have witnessed the first unravelling of all we have known. Please hear my message
4th July 2014 3pm, In the street outside Amar’s workshop I pedal the Triumph back into life. The local people cheer, one cries ‘Allah akbar!’
4th July 2014 1pm, Amar has sent word – the magneto has arrived from Germany, and two spares. There is kindness still in Sarajevo in July 1914.
4th July 2014 11am, Again a night without sleep. Sarajevo’s darkness is full of life – marching boots, shouts, murmurs. Here all comes to crux
3rd July 2014 5pm, So many fights are being spoiled for, so many Powers thinking this must be their moment. There are prizes to be seized through war
3rd July 2014 3pm, Since June 28th and the deaths in the Franz Josef Strasse this city has seethed in its siege of mountains, a midden brewing something foul
3rd July 2014 1pm, Franz Ferdinand and his wife Sophie, Duchess of Hohenberg, were shot here in Sarajevo by Gavrilo Princip when their car stalled.
3rd July 2014 11am, 3rd July 1914: 6 days ago, 28th June, Archduke Franz Ferdinand, heir to the Austro-Hungarian Emperor, was killed before my eyes.