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Kneehigh Theatre and Michael Morpurgo’s 946

July 31, 2015 No Comments

kneehigh asylum

Kneehigh Theatre Company are one of the brightest jewels in Cornwall’s crown – so said Cornish poet Charles Causley. Ever since their inception in the 1980s, they’ve been building a reputation as an imaginative, original and quite anarchic touring company. In the past they’ve created shows inspired by films, Brief Encounter; performed Benjamin Britten Operas, Noye’s Flood; and won awards as far away as San Francisco.

This summer Kneehigh are reprising their Asylum experience in the green expanses of the Lost Gardens of Heligan. This jaw-dropping, nomadic theatre tent is being erected for the fifth year running (actually, I’ve just been informed by a Heligan employee that it’s a bigger, better tent this year), and after last year’s radical Beggar’s Opera: Dead Dog in a Suitcase, it’s looking to be a spectacular event. The Guardian newspaper has described the Asylum as ‘a place predisposed to magic.’

For Asylum 2015 Kneehigh are collaborating with War Horse author, Michael Morpurgo to create 946, the little known story of the rehearsal of the D-Day landings, and of the 946 people who were killed during Operation Tiger at Slapton Sands in 1944. The D-Day rehearsal was a disaster on a grand scale. However, the true story was to remain a secret for decades, covered up by both the UK and US governments.

946 is adapted from Morpurgo’s own novel The Amazing Story of Adolphus Tips and is being brought to the stage by award winning director Emma Rice, who described the writer as a humble and brilliant collaborator.

Having a cat as a main character means there’s going to be some puppetry and foolishness in this tale of war, prejudice and love. After seeing recent rehearsals, Morpurgo himself commented, ‘something quite remarkable is being concocted by Emma Rice and her team, quite amazing, wonderful energy, beautiful dance and music, great acting, the makings of a really terrific show.’

The show recently previewed at Latitude Festival to a packed audience who shed tears and laughed along with all the dance numbers, despite not even getting to see a full dress rehearsal – the cast were all in identical boiler suits! Unfortunately for them, they were also denied the climax due to stage timings – only those who see it at Heligan will be rewarded with the catharsis of ending, it seems.

This is due to be a very special summer event and one that would make any holiday that little bit more special.

To book tickets visit www.hallforcornwall.co.uk or ring 01872 262466.

Rogue Theatre’s Wild Woodland Summer Ball

August 21, 2014 No Comments

photo 5 Rogue Theatre use the beautiful setting of Tehidy Woods for exciting interactive performances, perfect for any age!With storytelling, dance, music, craft, face painting and acrobatics, all in the setting of the beautiful trees.

It’s only £7.50 per person and under 3’s go free. You’ve got until November 2nd to catch a performance so don’t miss out!

See Rogue Theatre’s website

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The Tempest by Miracle Theatre

July 19, 2014 No Comments

photo 1 We went along to see Miracle Theatre’s latest touring production of The Tempest. We caught up with it in Falmouth in Gyllyngdune Gardens (near Princess Pavillions). It was brilliant, as two people who don’t know much about Shakespeare plays we found it really enjoyable. A ‘shaken and stirred’ version of the play, it always amazes me when such a small set and so few actors can keep you entertained for hours.

The production is touring the south west this summer and there’s plenty of opportunities to catch up with it. I am already planning on taking my family at the end of August.

For more information visit the Miracle Theatre website.

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Minack Theatre without a performance

May 6, 2014 No Comments

The Minack Theatre is worth a visit even when there are no performances – as my visit yesterday will show.

First of all –  if you are going just to explore then check first that your visit does not clash with a performance – the programme of events run from Easter to September. Schedule for 2014.


Planned and built by Rowena Cade with the first theatrical performance in 1932 the Minack (meaning ‘Rocky Place’) Theatre is built into the cliff side with steep steps and terraced seating.


Now a fully equipped, internationally famous outdoor theatre where the show goes on whatever the weather (almost) and shows have stopped temporarily for the audience to watch the pods of dolphins playing in the sea below.   The audience sit on steep, grassy ledges with views to die for, down to the stage and out to sea.

The planting in the gardens reflects the nature and weather of this position – with salty winds and sweeping rain in the winter yet attracting the heat of the sun in the summer. You will find plants in flower at all times of the year.


Outstanding views abound, looking down at the stunning Porthcurno beach or across the bay to Logan’s Rock and in the far distance, The Lizard.  But the Theatre alone is so photogenic – even when the sun declines to make a show as in my photos.  The WCs are spotless and the cafe has the best views in the world – in my opinion. As a treat at the end of your visit – beautiful jewellery and gifts (and fudge!) can be purchased in the shop.