Our adaptation of William Shakespeare's 'Richard II' is touring to the Brighton Open Air Theatre, Bristol Shakespeare Festival, Raglan Castle in Wales, Floors Castle in Scotland and Stage @ The Docks in Hull in Spring 2021.
The symbolism of nature and the decay of nature through man's interference are a huge themes of the play and close to our own hearts. We are re-imagining Shakespeare for a 2020 audience, highlighting heritage and making it interactive with nature and environmentally conscious.
As part of this project we are developing workshops connecting local communities to the natural world around them.
We will develop these workshops alongside guerrilla gardeners, several partners and the local communities we are touring to, as well as creating 19 jobs for creative artists.
As a grassroots, self-funded theatre company we have managed to book a tour despite the devastating impact of Covid 19 on the arts and want to do this project justice and deliver on all fronts.
What we'll deliver:
- Run 6 environmentally conscious interactive workshops
- Plant over 350 wildflowers
- Do 13 full-length performances
- Create 2000 illustrated pamphlets
- Hand out 2000 Bee-friendly Scatter Seed packs
- Create 19 jobs for creative artists
Why it's a great idea:
As Sir David Attenborough said earlier this year, we are in the middle of a climate crisis and we can no longer ignore the facts. There is a nature crisis in the UK. Plants and wildlife are under serious threat. Children are spending less time outside enjoying nature, which means they are less likely to care about and protect it.
Our goal with this show and these workshops is to inspire communities to spend more time enjoying and protecting nature where they live.
In the show itself - where the characters revere and worship green things - audiences will be interacted with and given seeds to go home and plant, the benefits of which long outlast the memory of the play itself.
Whether they live in the city or countryside, we will spend time making seed balls, discussing the use of nature and animals in Richard II, the decay of nature and how the world has changed since the 1600s, our heritage and where we come from using Shakespeare's words to highlight, inspire and educate!
Steps to get it done:
- Apply for Arts Council Funding
- Finish developing workshops with guerrilla gardeners
- Create show pamphlet with illustrations
- Rehearse the show
- Perform in Brighton
- Perform at Bristol Shakespeare Festival
- Perform at Ragland Castle in Wales
- Perform at Floors Castle in Scotland
- Perform at Stage @ The Docks in Hull
- Deliver 1/2 day workshops at each location and 1 in London
- Make seed balls in collaboration with Backyard Nature
We believe in order to care about anything you have to feel a personal connection to it, that's what planting something does. It can make one realise the utter wonder of a seed becoming a vibrant flower or a huge tree. In our play, set in a near future following a global ecological collapse, the characters had to learn the hard way and now worship anything natural like we might a diamond or a piece of gold. With this project, we want to be part of the journey of re-connecting we all have to do in order to change how we interact with out planet.
According to the mental health charity Mind: "Spending time in nature has been found to help with mental health problems including anxiety and depression. For example, research into ecotherapy shown it can help with mild to moderate depression".
This project will combine lots of suggestions from Mind including: growing things, bringing nature inside if access to outdoor space is limited, doing activities outdoors and helping the environment.