This summer WildWorks return to Heligan in Cornwall with 100:UnEarth – the company’s follow up to 100: The Day the World Changed in 2014. The two shows book-end the 100 year anniversary commemorations of WW1.
The Day the World Changed told the story of the gardeners who left Heligan for the front – a powerful piece of landscape theatre on a vast scale that moved an audience of thousands. When he was researching that piece, I remember director Bill Mitchell telling me that we die twice – firstly when our body dies and secondly when our name is remembered for the last time. The show memorably concluded with a roll call of the brave Cornish men from the parishes of Mevagissey, Gorran and St Ewe who went to war and never returned.
100: UnEarth is a sister piece – a new show exploring the devastating aftermath of conflict, telling the homecoming stories of those who fight and live through war. Taking inspiration from Greek myth, UnEarth is a love story forged in grief and tragedy. It promises to be an epic work and is Bill’s last fully realised gift to the company.
Before he passed away, Bill worked meticulously on plans for UnEarth. In his own inimitable way, he created a world in his head and populated it with characters and stories. The show will be a lasting testament to a visionary director and the leading exponent of landscape theatre.
Bill left us just under a year ago. The company, his family, friends and colleagues have been devastated by his loss. But we find strength in remembering his energy and ideas, and through UnEarth the company will again realise his extraordinary vision for landscape theatre.
We die twice. Once when our body dies. And once when our name is remembered for the last time. We remember you everyday, Bill Mitchell. You live on, through the people you inspired and the work you made.
by David Micklem