In late summer 2016 in situ: held its usual week-long residential course, using landscape – natural and manmade – as the inspiration for experimental art and theatre. However this year, for the first time, we ventured abroad…

Here are some of the participants’ thoughts and feelings about the experience.

What originally motivated you to sign up for Theatre & Landscape in Brittany?

I have been every year since it began 15 years ago… this is the first time in situ: has offered an overseas course and that was a draw for me… the highlights are the intellectual stimulus, the creative challenge, the team work… I was a newbie last year and found it amazing… I wanted to explore how the course would turn out abroad… my wife and I go together so it’s something we can share… for me it’s now an annual fixture.

What were the most amazing times during the course?

Our visits to amazing places… Carnac… Kerzeho… incredible old churches… there’s always a deep historical and cultural background to the course… Bella really made everything come to life… people’s fantastic installations and performances… being tasked to visit a French market and bring back something unusual for inspiration… beautiful, peaceful surroundings where we were staying… evenings spent eating delicious dinners, chatting, playing silly games, singing and listening to music… the friendly atmosphere and team spirit… the people on the trip were fantastic.

Did you find anything about the week challenging or difficult?

Being shifted outside one’s comfort zone can be interesting… there is a sense of panic when you think you have no ideas… I remember having to devise a short dramatic piece around the standing stones near Carnac – but doing it without speaking to each other!

What has been the impact of the course on your life as a whole – artistic or otherwise?

It was lovely to visit Brittany and explore its beauty… each time I become less anxious about my ability to be creative… each year I learn more about devising and performing… it helps with the performances I do back in Cambridge with in situ:… we are encouraged to record our responses in a sketch book and that helps my drawing and painting… the combination of subject matter, the work itself and the people influence me a lot… I feel I get a bit braver… this time I’d had a very emotionally challenging year and the course allowed me to process that in a safe, fun and interesting environment… a lot of things in my life have changed since the course and I am very happy about that… this year I learned that I don’t speak French as well as I would like, but felt very welcome in France anyway!

What are you hoping for from the next Theatre & Landscape course (Devon, September 2017)?

Interesting visits… insights into the region and landscape… challenging performance tasks… good food in a lovely house and garden… good company in a harmonious group… in short, more of the same!

These were the (lightly edited) words of: Maxine Fay, Mike Fay, Rachel Thilwind, Zoey Hudson and other members of in situ: who wish to remain incognito!

Theatre and Landscape 2017

Enthused by this account of the Theatre & Landscape residential? The 2017 course is happening in South Devon from Friday September 1 to Friday September 18th, and the cost of £500 covers all accommodation, food, drink, travel during the week, tuition and art materials.

The course is open to everyone, and you don’t need to have previously studied art or theatre. Simply bring your enthusiasm and your energy!