Theatre & Landscape: A Creative Holiday

led by Bella Stewart and Richard Spaul

If you are looking for a special type of holiday, one that combines intensive and enjoyable creative activity with good company, good food and attractive and peaceful surroundings, then you should try Theatre and Landscape.

You don’t need any special skills – you don’t need to have done any theatre before – you just need a willingness to enter enthusiastically into creative and collaborative work. Creative and fun, Theatre and Landscape will leave you invigorated, refreshed, inspired and wanting more.

Following successful residencies in Norfolk, Suffolk, North Wales and Devon, in situ: will be offering three residencies for 2009, all focusing on Environmental Theatre and in situ:’s unique appoach to it. There are two weekend courses, one in Suffolk, and one in the Peak District, both taking place in early May. The third is a week-long residency in Devon, taking place in September.

All these courses are devoted to the exploration of Theatre and Landscape, or Site-specific Theatre, as it’s often called, and all three areas are full of exciting possibilities.

This is what happens. We visit woods, moors, ancient monuments, islands, beaches, castles, and all sorts of other environments. Sometimes we create performances in those environments themselves (although never for an outside audience – the only spectators are the other participants). At other times our visits provide a stimulus for creating theatre back at our base.

The work will not be confined to ‘acting’ in any restricted sense. There will also be opportunities for writing, painting, group-devising, movement, voice work, and installation-making. Rather than teaching any particular discipline or technique, we want to bring out the artist in people and provide structures and stimuli to allow people’s artistic powers and interests to develop. Previous performing (or any other kind of) experience is not necessary, but a willingness to plunge wholeheartedly into collaborative work is of course essential. We think the course will appeal to artists of any level of experience and in any medium (dancers, writers, musicians, painters, actors,singers) and to people in any walk of life, who enjoy doing, or would like to do, collaborative and creative work, whether they think of themselves as artists or not!

The work will be varied – ranging from warm-ups, exercises and excursions with the whole group (8 – 10 people), to work in small groups, pairs and solos.

Theatre and Landscape I: The Haunted Landscape

Toad Hall, nr. Woodbridge, Suffolk.
Friday May 1 – Monday May 4

This beautiful Tudor house, with it’s characterful interior and large, tranquil garden, is the ideal base for a weekend exploring the remarkable Suffolk landscape.

It’s a haunted landscape, haunted by fears of invasion from across the sea, from the evocative Anglo-Saxon burial site at Sutton Hoo to the eerie Cold War installations of Orford Ness.

There are literary hauntings too – Old Felixstowe is the setting for M.R. James’ spine-tingling ghost story – ‘ O Whistle and I’ll come to you, my lad’ and Aldeburgh the site for Benjamin Britten’s ‘Peter Grimes’.

And much else besides.

in situ: takes these fascinating texts, stimuli and sites and, with its own unique brand of theatrical alchemy, turns them into memorable environmental theatre.

cost: £225 per participant (maximum 8 participants)

Theatre and Landscape II: Places and Pasts

Throwley Moor Farmhouse, nr. Ashbourne, Derbyshire.
Friday May 8 – Monday May 11

This charming farmhouse, very close to the beautiful Manifold Valley and Dovedale, is a new location for us and we’re very excited about it.

There are lots of fascinating sites to visit. We’ll be visiting the Plague Village of Eyam, where there was an isolated outbreak during the Great Plague of 1665/6. We’ll be creating performances at Arbor Low – a magnificent stone circle – powerful and evocative – and we’ll be exploring some of the many stunning natural environments which have made the region famous.

cost: £225 per participant (maximum 10 participants)

Theatre and Landscape III: Stone and Water

Steeperton, nr. Okehampton, Dartmoor, Devon.
Friday September 11 – Friday September 18:

A lovely big Edwardian House, looking out directly onto the wilds of magnificent Dartmoor, will be our base for this intensive week-long course in Environmental Theatre.

An extraordinary place, bursting with geology, wildlife and archaeology, Dartmoor is a huge lump of granite, shaped by the wind and rain and the many beautiful rivers that flow through it.

The stone of Dartmoor takes many forms, from the tors that dominate the skyline to the remarkable megaliths, churches and castles with which the Moor abounds. We’ll be visiting Brentor and the Church of St Michael, who fought with the Devil; Okehampton Castle, haunted by the ghost of Lady Howard, who murdered four of her husbands; and Grimspound, an impressive Bronze-Age settlement – where Sherlock Holmes did his sleuthing in The Hound of the Baskervilles.

To have a look at the accommodation please visit www.helpfulholidays.com

cost: £480 per participant (maximum 10 participants)

For all courses, the cost includes accommodation, all food and drink, all travel, entrance fees and materials used during the course. It does not include travel to and from the accommodation itself.

We will be self-catering and participants will be expected to help out with non-onerous domestic duties.

Most of the rooms involve two or more sharing, but there are some doubles and singles available.

To book onto Theatre and Landscape, you will need to send us a deposit to secure your place. That’s £100 for The Haunted Landscape or Places and Pasts and £200 for Stone and Water. This is non-refundable. The balance is due one month before the course begins.

If you’d like to book, please return the form below along with your deposit.

Any questions, please give us a ring on 01223 211451, or email us on: info@insitutheatre.co.uk. We’d be delighted to talk to you. Further details of Theatre and Landscape will be posted on the website shortly. www.insitutheatre.co.uk

Best wishes,

Richard and Bella

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Participation Form (please detach and return)

Yes, I would like to do Theatre and Landscape

Please book me in for :

The Haunted Landscape
Places and Pasts
Stone and Water (delete where appropriate)

I enclose my deposit of £100 / £200 (delete where appropriate)

name:

address:

tel:

E-MAIL:

Please make your cheque payable to: in situ: Theatre Company

Return this form to: 23, Wycliffe Rd, Cambridge CB1 3JD