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  • Writer's pictureClaire Venus

Behind the scenes at Allendale based 'Miscreations Theatre'

I had the pleasure of catching up with Rebecca Jameson at a recent Culture Northumberland network meeting.

I remember seeing Rebecca in performance in one of Theatre Sans Frontier's shows years back and it was brilliant to re-connect and hear more about her journey with her new project 'The Wilding Theatre' and her fascinating sleeping giant creation.

You can watch my 10 minute interview with her below...

Rebecca says;

The Wilding Theatre Project is an intelligent and playful investigation into our relationship with the natural world around us.
It seeks to offer a positive message in light of the rise of eco-anxiety among children and young people.
Ideal for 4 – 7 year olds, Wilding Theatre will delight young children and adults alike while gently educating them about their local natural habitat and how the preservation of the planet and all its inhabitants: animal, insect, plant and human can contribute to a rich and rewarding community for us all.

Wilding (also known as ‘re-wilding’) is about letting nature take care of itself, enabling natural processes to shape land and sea, repair damaged ecosystems and

restore degraded landscapes so replenishing the world’s vital biodiversity. Wilding offers us all the opportunity to develop a more healthy and sustainable relationship with

the natural world; theatre offers us the opportunity to explore this opportunity with creativity, imagination and no small amount of magic hence, Wilding Theatre.

The Wilding Theatre Project:

• Engages children with the subject of 'wilding', teaching them about local wildlife and demonstrate the importance of biodiversity through creative workshops and performance.

• Introduces and makes accessible new vocabulary, language and ideas on the

theme of wilding through a highly visual outdoor theatre performance

highlights local endangered species of plants, animals and insects, through

music, song, puppets and clown.

• Facilitates creative outdoor learning workshops on the theme of 'listening to

nature' with willow weaving of local insects. Participants will also work

together to build a ‘sound map’ of the space around us and devise a collective

‘sound-scape’ to be recorded and edited into performance.

• Encourages focused reflection in response to the project as we enable pupils to

identify/share a moment when they both listened and talked to nature, be it

with a slug, a puddle, a butterfly or a rain cloud. Pupils will then create ‘a

moment with nature picture message, to be given to our large willow Curlew

puppet. The Curlew will fly off from the grounds of the school, to deliver the

children’s messages to the Dreaming Giant in order that s/he continues to

sleep peacefully in harmony with the world.

The vision - The Dreaming Giant sculpture as part of the Wilding Theatre project

We will be building a number of giant living earth sculptures across the region (one already resides in Allendale) at different locations. These sculptures will be left as a legacy to the project, for the children and young people of the surrounding communities to seek out and leave their messages
with after our project has visited your school. The hope is that they will become a place to be revisited at different times of the year to see how they are becoming “wilded”.

Wildings Theatre are hoping to build a sculpture at Hexham Sele Park and at Otterburn, , Barnard Castle and the Westmorland Dales…there may be others to come!

Time-lapse video footage that enables children to trace the development of the Giant from day one and to connect with other Giants as

they appear.

The nature of the sculpture is such that it will evolve and grow, continually offering something fresh to see, so maintaining a dynamic and creative focus for connection with the natural world. We will capture footage of this development for each giant, for each season of the year and share it on our dedicated project page where we will map and follow the progress of each sculpture.

The first example of this film can be seen on the Miscreations website as the Allendale Giant grows from spring to summer, and as we upload other footage it will become a possible resource for seasonal learning activities in school.

You can find out more about Rebecca and the rest of her teams process in their research and development video here.

To stay connected follow Rebecca's company on facebook here.

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