I hope you’re all doing ok and settling into this ‘new normal’ world we find ourselves in.
I’ve been asked to write about our Fluid value, which feels particularly apt at the moment. I heard Covid-19 described as a ‘Corona-coaster’; I definitely feel as if I’m on a fluidly up and down path through this – from optimistic, despairing, enjoying lock-down, over-emotional, very clear, hugely keen to create, very confused and so on….
Anyway, it’s been nice to take some time away from uncertain project plans and spreadsheets full of scenarios to focus back in on why we make work and to dwell on the values that drive us. I’ve tried to unpick exactly why we’re fluid – looking at the qualities we have as a team and behavioural patterns we often follow as a company. This is where I’ve got to….
A MEANDERING RIVER OF FLUID THOUGHTS
fleet of foot
good at weathering storms
enjoy the journey
Rabbit out of hat pullers
open to gifts
keep having a laugh
quick to accept change
WHY ARE WE FLUID?
The short answer is because we have to be. If we weren’t adaptable, flexible and open – our projects wouldn’t build into brave and experimental artworks. They wouldn’t involve local people and tend to the locations we work in. And quite a few projects would never have materialised – falling at the first of many hurdles.
It comes naturally
As a devising theatre company, we are naturally fluid. We literally make things up as we go along; luckily with the help of tried and tested techniques and a team of artistic wizards. This instinct to follow our noses and respond to what we find is at the heart of our methodology.
For the fun or it…
We enjoy the journey of a project as much as the final result – the fun is in not knowing what we’re going to find. Being playful throughout the process is why we make work – it makes us happy, connects us with new collaborators and keeps us evolving creatively.
Keeping ideas fresh
Our process benefits from being open for as long as possible – open to ideas, to people and new ways of working. It keeps the projects fresh throughout the process. Our shows can be 3 years in the making and so we don’t want content to become too fixed down too soon; otherwise projects run the risk of ‘going off’ or becoming less relevant than they could have been.
Disclaimer: Obviously this openness is supported by a rigorous planning process and not everything is left to chance!! We set deadlines for creative decision making in our timelines and the final script is usually about Version 30 by press night.
Make the most of the gifts
A favourite WildWorks expressions is “What do you get for free?” We’ve learnt to find the gifts in life’s challenges – such as obstructions that are better to factor in than fight against e.g. a trainline cutting through the back of a scene, which became souls on their way to the underworld.
Logisitically, the route of a show needs careful thinking about. Narratively, everything along the way should ‘serve the story’ and not pop you out of the world. I remember at Felbrigg Hall in Norfolk how Richard Daplyn the National Trust head ranger offered up a suggestion of a possible route. It was perfect! Richard’s route also directly influenced the story development. For example, at the end was a magnificent V shaped avenue of trees which inspired the idea of a choice in the final scene between civilisation and the wild.
HOW ARE WE FLUID?
We move with the tempo of the terrain – physically and metaphorically. Our work is often likened to being in a live film – the storytelling relies heavily on the visual – from epic long shots in the landscape to drawing the audience into striking close ups. Within a two hour show we will have collaged music, sound, bold visuals, intimate moments, installation, fictional narrative and real-life stories into one piece.
We also work on multiple projects at the same time, which all might take a different form. In 2014 for example, we were developing Wolf’s Child (a promenade ticketed theatre show), Installing Once Upon A Castle (a 26-room performance exhibition in a Flemish castle) and working on 100: The Day Our World Changed (a one-day event from dawn to dusk across 5 mile area).
We work in the past, present and future all at the same time. We’ll be wrapping up projects (for about a year after a project- would you believe!), whilst being mid delivery of a major work, as well as be having multiple conversations and planning sessions for future work for the coming year and beyond. This requires a lot of flexibility in thinking and extensive use of multiple colour-coded notebooks.
Expert bad weather sailors
In my nine years with WildWorks there has been all sorts of storms to weather – from sites going into administration months before a show is due to open, funding not coming through, beloved Bill’s cancer diagnosis, Bill’s death, biblical rain to Covid-19. It’s been pretty relentless. Just as it starts to feel like we’re back on an even keel- we get hit by another massive wave. Luckily, as outdoor theatre specialists, we’ve got fantastic all-weather clothing!
Being flexible is second nature to me as a producer – the job is to respond and tend to the artistic ideas and solve multiple problems and dissolve barriers along the way. Over time, we’ve learnt to ride the waves.
Our team is made up of trusting, resilient, brave, pragmatic people who handle change exceptionally well. Whether the change has come about due to a good or disastrous reason- they are quick to accept the situation and give us the benefit of the doubt that we’ll re-plot in due course. Often it can feel like the rug has been pulled from under your feet several times a week, but then generally the new plan ends up feeling like it was ‘meant to be’.
With Wolf’s Child, the show was postponed twice – from 2014 to 2015 in Norfolk, and from 2016 to 2017 in Cornwall – these postponements were for different reasons and were very necessary but required a lot of fluidity from the team, goodwill and collaborative working with partners and funders.
From a producing point of view, the Covid-19 postponements have been the easiest as the whole world is in the same boat and the reasons are well understood. But for our dedicated family of freelance professionals, this is probably the worst disaster to ever hit. We’re sticking together closely, talking weekly and prioritising current workflow that provides income to WildWorks artists wherever we can.
Fleet of foot shapeshifters
We are most definitely fluid in form and are driven by the uniqueness of each project. Our shows have happened in castles, woods, across towns, nightclubs, department stores – we make theatre, events, heritage, etc. Each project requires a differing range of skills and varying numbers of people. We can go from having 2 people in an office to 50 on site or even 300 people working on site. We can easily shift to working from home or taking up lots of space across a sprawling 2-mile site. Our ways of working adapt to any context; although sometimes the WIFI connection struggles to keep up.
“Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving” Albert Einstein
Our default mechanism is to keep busy, keep going and keep peddling away at a process – even if the delivery date of a project is still up in the air. We’ve covered quite a lot of ground in recent years. Although since 2018 we may have been less visible with shows, we have been non-stop. We’re delivering and/ or planning about 5 projects at the moment, we’ve pretty much reviewed all aspects of the business and have had a little visual re-vamp; which we can’t wait to share.
We’re good at staying positive and holding our nerve. We try and be prepared enough for all eventualities and in the best position possible to ‘put the show on’. We’ve been in situations before where the weather forecast has been against us, we’ve been under pressure from partners to cancel shows but generally we will throw all our cosmic ordering at it and wait for the storm to pass. If we were to cancel shows on the basis of weather forecasts, I reckon a third of all shows would have to be cancelled. In reality 99% of shows have been able to go ahead; albeit with slight amendments for safety reasons.
The Covid-19 situation is unsettling but we’re hopeful that we can be quick out of the traps as soon as it feels safe and appropriate to be rehearsing and putting our exciting plans back on the rails again. Our team are busy composing music, writing, testing tech equipment, finalising marketing materials, using the extra time to apply for some more funding and kickstarting additional projects; we’re definitely utilising the space and spending more than our fair share of time on Zoom.
Hopefully before too long, we’ll be able to firm up and let you in on our grand plans very soon. We can’t wait to see you on the other side.
Bye for now
In recent months we’ve been gathering memories from WildWorkers across many of our past projects. Teamed with stunning images from our photographic archive, this has become our regular Instagram feature known as #waybackwhensday.
One of our latest contributors has been long time WildWorker and collaborator Steve Jacobs. Steve has worked with us since the very beginning and we wanted to share with you an extended version of his recollections of a dramatic Souterrain rehearsal in Amiens, France, back in 2006.
All of the previous contributions for #waybackwhensday can be found over on our Instagram profile. Get yourselves a cuppa, sit back and enjoy!
Dress Rehearsal in a make-shift Cathedral in Amiens.
‘Working with WildWorks for so many years has gifted me many magical experiences in a variety of contrasting landscapes. One of the many beauties of the first Souterrain tour was that we played out the heart rending story of Eurydice and Orpheus in seven completely different sites. The contrast was extreme from the interior of a derelict department store, Keddies, in Colchester, to an abandoned tin mine at Dolcoath in Cornwall. We also played in three places in France, one of which was in the Napoleonic Citadel in Amiens, steeped in history of the First World War and dating back to the 1550s. It had also been used as a Gestapo prison and as a reception centre for Algerians coming to France as a result of the Algerian war. The emotional memories within these walls were powerful. We were excited to be working at this site. The show had gone brilliantly in Brighton where it had opened, and we were feeling confident.
Weather always plays a big part in our work as we mainly work outdoors. In Amiens it was very hot but this can be a double edged sword. It was heavy work as the piece was very physical and we were rehearsing in military costume so we had to take regular shade breaks. The site was extraordinary and offered us all kinds of visual possibilities. We had a superb group of community performers, a brilliant group of musicians and a Gospel choir to die for. The excitement was cranking up as we got close to opening.
It was the eve of the dress rehearsal day when the weather broke in dramatic style. The skies darkened and the heavens opened with a torrential downpour, thunder, lightning, the full works. Normally, weather does not stop us, whatever it throws at us. This however was impossible to work in. Bill called for an emergency meeting. It was crucial that we did a dress run. We hadn’t as yet done a run of all the scenes together. We hadn’t been using full costumes and there were many unresolved issues, performance and technical, that needed ‘trying out’ before we had an audience.
It was decided that we would run the dress in a huge old derelict barn that at one time was used as an ammunition store. There had been a power cut so there was no electricity so we collected together as many candles & fire pots as we could. At least now we would be able to see what we were doing. The big question was how would we do this? We were going to be telling this story across a vast site in which the audience would travel some distance. Now we were in one room. Time was running out and we had to get started.
The candles were lit and suddenly the space looked beautiful, like a medieval cathedral. There were probably over a hundred of us in that room, cast choir, band and crew, and when we weren’t performing, we were audience in the shadows around the space. You could have heard a pin drop before we began…. and then the choir started singing. It was riveting. Normally outside vocally we have to be as loud as we can. We didn’t at this point use radio microphones. Here, everyone could speak and sing quietly, but you could hear everything. It started a little uncomfortably as we all had to think on our feet, playing one scene here in this space, another in the corner over there, but it soon relaxed, and everyone became totally present and in the moment. Due to nature of this work you can be in it and get to the end of the run, and there will be large sections of the piece that you have never seen. Now we were all able to see the whole piece for the first time.
It was so beautiful in the glow of that makeshift Cathedral. The words, the music, the moments resonated in a completely compelling way. At that point we definitely knew that we had a show for Amiens.’
Steve Jacobs – Actor
Photo: Dan Prince – A Great Night Out, Sunderland
By Mercedes Kemp
The WildWorks way is always to affirm humanity. We believe in the power of story to remind us of who we are, what we value, how we make meaning in an apparently chaotic world.
The spaces where we make work are often places experiencing change or transition; places that have a past, and will maybe have a future; but in the meantime people are poised between memory and hope. That is what we are there for, like a catalyst, so that guiding us through their homelands, the people view their environment differently; a place transformed through the eyes of the stranger. Many places where we work are the subject of change. They are now spaces of otherness where communities might converse, argue, consider metaphysical questions, mourn, celebrate…
These conversations are at the heart of our story telling.
Sometimes our stories come directly out of what people tell us. Other times we bring ancient myths, old archetypal tales where people may place their own emotions so that the myths become stories of the now, both epic and intensely everyday.
I think it all starts with curiosity. You arrive at a new place. You explore. You look. You ask questions. You listen. Above all, you listen. You are an innocent abroad.
There are so many stories….
Nablus, City of Stories, The occupied Territories of Palestine.
My friend Wadi takes me to his mother’s home, where I have been invited to have lunch.
Old Askar Camp was built in 1950 on a limited parcel of land. Its population has grown to vastly exceed dwelling capacity. Every nook and cranny has been used up. There is much ingenuity and very canny use of space. But natural light is scarce. In Maleka’s home its source is a narrow slit framed by breeze blocks in a corner of her tiny kitchen. The corner is occupied by a cage in which two lovebirds are kissing. I wonder at the generosity in allowing the birds this privileged position.
Maleka’s hands chop, slice and stir, and as she works she tells me about the house in Jaffa, and her grandmother who, as she fed her children with rijla (purslane), which grew in the rocky crevices of the long road to exile, dreamed of crabs stuffed with red chilli, stingray soup doused with lemon, squid with golden rice, sea bass, sardines and everything that swam in the clear waters that bathe Jaffa, the bride of the sea!
She dishes up the rice and chicken and says, ‘I wish that I could offer you such a banquet, but I have never seen the sea. So I offer what I have.’
The rituals of hospitality are accomplished with elegance and generosity. As I take my leave Maleka says, ‘I am a simple woman, but my daughters will study and grow wise. We’ll go back to our land, inshallah. And if not us, then our children.’
A Great Night Out, Sunderland
Photo: Dan Prince
This woman. This elder. She is a working class woman, and proud. She was a councillor and activist during the miner’s strike.
“It was the worst year and the best year of our lives.
It should not be forgotten
What we went through.
That year won’t be forgotten,
even by the children.
We girls weren’t organized. I mean, we didn’t take any notice of points of order or chairmanship or anything. I was already a councillor. So I set the women’s support group with them. They were fantastic.
When I saw us women take over and I saw some of the lads looking after the bairns for a change, I was so proud. Our talents developed during the strike. Suddenly women were coming out of the kitchen, and doing stuff –
It was very, very hard, but we were community. We were working together.
It made us women realize that our voice and our vote counted. It made us say: “I’m gonna do something here”, y’know, “I count”.
It was the first Union parade after the strike, We had our own banner by then, the women – and I said, “Jack, where do the women go?” Thinking we’d be pride of place at the front, you know? and Jack says “oh, yer behind the Mechanics”, and I said “well where’s the Mechanics?” He says “the back”.”
For A Great Night Out the women’s banner marched again, held by these elderly heroines and followed by their daughters and granddaughters.
100: UnEarth, The Lost Gardens of Heligan
I met a man. He’s a veteran of past conflicts. A medic. Operating in unimaginably precarious conditions. Saving the lives of both friend and foe. He’s a very gentle man. He talks to me for hours. He tells me about “enemy” soldiers brought into the field hospital, barely out of childhood, barefoot and holding letters to their mothers in their pockets. How he drew smiley faces on his gown to cheer them up. He tells me of how men whose hands had been burned were fed and shaved by other wounded soldiers who still had the use of their hands. He says: “It’s like the parable of the long spoons. It is impossible to feed oneself with them. In hell, people starve, but in heaven they are well fed because they feed each other. Love only requires one skill…”
He tells me that, when it was time to go home, these burly men who had been immersed in horror, on the long sea journey home, chose to watch the same film every night. The film was Peter Pan. I found this image so utterly heartbreaking…
Photo: Charles Francis
If you walked with us in 100:UnEarth you will remember many of these images appearing in the Underworld.
These are some of the many, many stories I have gathered over the years. Behind each story there is a powerful human connection. Today I am sitting in my work room at home, in isolation, looking at my computer screen and out of the window, through the garden and the cliffs beyond to the ocean. I don’t buy the lie that this pandemic is a leveller and treats everyone the same. There is, of course, the terrible awareness of the wretchedness elsewhere. That some lives appear to be worth more than others. I hear from my friends in Palestine, in Tunisia, in the refugee camps of Palermo, in some of the poorest wards in the UK, and I can’t imagine what life is like for them, having shared their living conditions in the past.
I am humbled by the messages of comfort and support that are coming from the people we have been working with for the past 20 years. Wherever we work in the world we find stories that unite us as humans, that resonate regardless of who you are and where you are from and this humanness allows us to work the world over.
The conversation continues. This is our common humanity.
Mydd here, hope you are all well, happy and hopefully not too windswept by Dennis! Last weekend was awesome! The WildWorks team and I battened down the hatches, harboured from the storms and spent a few days inside, experimenting with sound whilst exploring a new landscape for a brand new WildWorks production happening later this year. Yes, you heard right… An inside show!
Wait! Back up the truck!!! But WildWorks does all the outside stuff!
But this is not always true. Yes of course there’s nothing we love more than getting soaked to the skin, knee-deep in mud, digging holes, setting fire to things and making stuff fly, but we have always experimented with the WildWorks form, inside and out. Shows on fishing quays, in castles, car parks, beaches, nightclubs and palaces, the work has always been and still is very much what we like to call ‘An experiment in landscape theatre’
Experiment is vital in how we work. We learn through play and discovering new things. Often taking huge leaps of faith and a deep trust in the process.
Experiment is about listening, attending, learning from what a site gives you. Nothing is ever static, everything is always moving. Ideas are often challenged by many contributing factors testing the form to create a piece of work that is charged and has a life of its own. If you listen enough it tells you what it wants to be.
I am lucky enough to have been part of every WildWorks project since the company formed in 2005. Mad, really, when you think of it. Each project experimenting with the WildWorks form in ways that were exciting, dangerous and forward pushing. Often where we didn’t know what results to expect. We lit the touch paper and stood back…
The Projects – The Experiment:
A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings, Hayle Quay – To perform a whole show in an entirely made up language.
Souterrain, UK and France – To tour a story and make it site-specific to 7 different locations throughout England and France.
Beautiful Journey, Devonport and Newcastle – To puppet cranes and abandoned machinery theatrically. To crane a real iceberg out of the river every day.
Memory Projector, Glasgow – To run a show for 8 hours a day, in the basement of a nightclub, often with the beginning, middle and end of the show running simultaneously.
Enchanted Palace, Kensington Palace – To make a list of “what you are not allowed to do in a Royal Palace”, then do it all!
The Passion, Port Talbot – To use the whole of Port Talbot as the stage, in a 72 hour, non stop telling of The Passion, starring over 1200 local community participants, ending with the Crucifixion of Michael Sheen on a round-about on Aberavon beach.
Babel, London – To bring together four separate boroughs of London, from both sides of the Thames to forge a new community.
Once upon a Castle, Belgium – To bring the ghosts of the castle back to life and make installations that felt like they have just left the room.
A Great Night Out, Sunderland – To create the best night out. A glitzy show featuring the real stories of the real people of Sunderland.
Wolf’s Child, Norfolk and Cornwall – To see the world through animal eyes and make a show entirely scored by human voice and animal calls.
100: The Day our World Changed, Cornwall – To start a dawn to dusk show with the landing of a traditional Mounts Bay Lugger called ‘Happy Return’ and end with the calling of fifty three names of fallen soldiers, that took over 20 minutes.
Yule-Tide Ark-Ive, The Eden Project – To make a show about the essence of Christmas, but stage and perform it in a tropical rain forest.
100: Unearth, Cornwall – To make a show about death and loss, love and hope months after losing our friend and director Bill Mitchell to cancer.
The Great Survey of Hastings – To create an archaeological dig pit without actually being able to break ground.
Ark-ive, London. To sail a ship on concrete paving slabs, every night outside the National Theatre. Right next to the River Thames.
Travel Agents, Cornwall. To take people anywhere their heart desired without them actually leaving the spot.
Not to mention Cinema of Dreams, Tunis. Nablus, City of Stories, Palestine – To see how naked and vulnerable we could be. To immerse ourselves with no tool kit and no support systems into a community where we were truly strangers in a strange land. And yet we made connections, we had conversations and we created some beautiful things that had true meaning in places hungry for art.
Living on the edge
In Cornwall we live on the edge, a geographical edge – outward looking. Scanning the horizon for new people, new ways of experiencing the world. Actively inviting new voices, new rituals, new ideas.
As WildWorkers we take on the responsibility to put ourselves in strange places, edges, and horizons that feel uncomfortable, that feel new and different. That’s where you really find the magic. Magic that is very much hidden in what people dismiss as the everyday mundane.
We have always pushed against the rules and boundaries. Pushing forward with new ideas built on our successes and failures.
New growth, new shoots, new ideas branching off in exciting and fresh directions, firmly rooted in the rich foundations of the work that has gone before.
Let’s not waste time creating work that has already been created. Let’s experiment, forge new ideas and keep moving.
Curiosity is vital.
“The work must keep evolving and therefore changing”. “Let’s not reinvent the wheel” – Bill Mitchell
Cheers for now, Mydd x
Image Design: Mydd Pharo / Photo: Steve Tanner
2020 brings exciting plans and new projects for WildWorks. 2019 was a highly unusual year for us, as we didn’t present any work to audiences! This was the result of the lull in new project planning that happened just after Bill passed away. However, behind the scenes we’ve been as busy as ever.
In October, I was invited to speak at the Regional New South Wales Artstate conference. Pulling together my presentation was a timely moment that caused me to reflect on the months leading up to it and the challenges we had been facing as a company. I had been asked to speak on the theme of ‘arts in the age of uncertainty.’ During my visit the wild fires in the region were just beginning and in Tamworth, NSW, where the conference was taking place, the tension from the unbreaking heat was palpable; a city a few years into drought with a scorched landscape and a polite request to use the 3-minute egg timer next to the shower. I cannot reflect on my time there without acknowledging the devastation that has happened across large parts of the area since I returned and the uncertainty that is now facing thousands of people and wildlife.
I used my conference slot to talk about WildWorks’ process and projects and how we are used to working with uncertainty. We embrace uncertainty; be that working in public spaces, unpredictable weather or working with communities who themselves are living in uncertain times through conflict, loss of industry or ever changing economics. And how in late 2015 we were thrown into a world of our uncertainty with Bill’s cancer diagnosis. With Bill still at the helm, we carried on but always a little unsure of what was around the corner, contingency plans always at the ready, and then of course in 2017 the contingency plan became ‘the plan’. The early focus was to deliver Wolf’s Child in Cornwall and despite some interesting issues with mud and rain we had a great success and similarly with 100: UnEarth in 2018 (except a heat wave not torrential rain!) however since 2017 the big question has been ‘what do we do next’?
I’m sure no one will be surprised to know there was a period of time since Bill’s death where it felt like we were lost in a deep fog. Knowing we wanted to carry on but laden with grief and unsure of where the path was. I asked whether the organisations listening to me speak ever talked about succession planning or confronted the ‘what ifs’ in their own worlds- something that I think is particularly pertinent for artist led companies.
Over the last 12 months we have been joined by some new board members, we have explored new project ideas with R&D playtime, we are refreshing our branding (watch this space) and have had the headspace away from being on the frontline of project delivery. Each of these tasks has led to conversations about our values. In our projects, we know that the strongest outcomes in our work come from working with communities where there are clear and strongly held values and we have trusted our values to guide the process. As a result, we reminded ourselves that we have nothing to fear from uncertainty and have realised that in our values we find the answers. By following and trusting in our values the fog begins to clear and the path to the future is visible again.
Over the next few months we are going to discuss more about these values through a series of blogs by the team and how they present themselves in our process. And of course, we will start to share our plans for the future.
We are an altered company without Bill but the values of WildWorks are strong and if a project holds those values closely the work will continue and we are excited about it. 2020? Bring it on!
Happy New Year
The full auction catalogue is here … inside you’ll find details of each of the 21 Lots which have been kindly donated by friends and family. A huge thank you to everyone who has donated.
If you can’t make it to the auction on Thursday 5th December at The Redruth Drapery in Cornwall you can still bid.
We are accepting sealed bids. Email your bid, by noon on Thursday 5th December 2019 to [email protected] Rose will bid up to that amount for you at the auction. Mark your email BID CONFIDENTIAL.
Auction items as at 28 Nov 2019
Bill Mitchell, internationally recognised Artistic Director of WildWorks and Kneehigh, created shows that dazzled: 100:The Day the World Changed; The Very Old Man with Enormous Wings; Tristan and Yseult; Wolf’s Child; The Passion. (more…)
A call out to friends, fans and family. Help us to give Bill Mitchell’s Attic, a space packed with 40 years of collection and creativity, a new life.
On Thursday 5th December we’ll be hosting an evening of celebration and fundraising with live music, dinner, charity auction, surprises. More information coming soon.
Thursday 5th December 2019
The Redruth Drapery, Cornwall.
Amy from University of Exeter continues to explore the WildWorks Archives held at Penryn Campus.
Interested in joining us for a 2-day residential workshop? Applications are now open …
In the autumn of 2018 we were contacted by a Canadian theatre company asking us whether we would be interested in talking to them about applying to the New Conversations, a fund created by British Council, the High Commission of Canada in the UK and Farnham Maltings with support from Arts Council England.
What to do on #CanadaDay ? Actually, it’s the day we wave goodbye to our shores for a week as we set off on the first leg of our Canadian exchange. Like an excited school exchange student we’ve been counting down the days to go on our artistic adventure.
Have you ever wondered what happens to the all material used on the making of a WildWorks production? We set Amy, a student from University of Exeter, a challenge to explore the WildWorks Theatre archive held at the University’s Penryn Campus. In a series of blogs Amy will show you what she has found during her delve into the archive.
We are delighted to hear that Len Gibson has been awarded A British Empire medal in the Queen’s birthday honours list this weekend for ‘Services to World War Two Remembrance and the community in Sunderland.”
We’re delighted to welcome Guest Director Angus Farquhar who joins us on our next major project.
We had our first meeting with our brand new board last week, well, all bar one as Trustee Chris Morris was away working. See you next time Chris!
It was brilliant to see British actor, Olivia Coleman, honoured at the Oscars a few weeks ago. I’ve saved her speech to watch when I need cheering up…the perfect combo of emotion and humour !
The Favourite starring Olivia Coleman is the story featured in ‘The Room of Quarrels’ in The Enchanted Palace, commissioned by Historic Royal Palaces for Kensington Palace 2010-2012
Happy World Poetry Day!
A Beautiful Friendship
to this princess
in a time
She is born weeping
and doesn’t seem
to be able
As a toddler
she is sent
the Royal Oculist
in her golden frock
holding her small lapdog.
All who look after her
just seem to die.
When she comes home
it is her mother’s turn.
ENTER THE STEPMOTHER.
She is ousted
She is loveless.
She is cared for
The princess is sad,
Until one day
to play with.
She is gorgeous,
and a bit bossy.
she is willing to become
the shy, plain princess’s
and dress up
in each other’s clothes.
the kitchen table.
is the bossy one
and she likes that.
They grow up.
There are weddings,
there are sorrows.
there are many
And still the friends
in their kitchen domain.
Now the princess
and her friend
is the Mistress of the Robes.
There are intrigues.
There are betrayals.
There are WARS.
into the kitchen
with Queenly concerns.
presumes too much.
The Queen turns her back.
She will be bossed no more.
It is the end
of a beautiful
When friends so fast part forever
their bitter words etch through the walls
and leave a trace.
You can hear them still.
Poem: WildWorks/Mercedes Kemp
Images: WildWorks/ Steve Tanner
We are delighted to have confirmed the appointment of Emma Hogg as our Executive Director.