Into The Woods is a theatrical and multi-sensory storytelling event taking place in Hamilton House, Bristol on the 12th and 13th of November 2016. A slightly unconventional show, as the audience, you’ll be sitting with blankets and hot chocolate under a canopy of fabric, much like a tent. This will provide a canvas for shadow projections throughout the story, and the narration will be accompanied by a soundscape of recordings I have taken from various places in the story.
With your money I will be able to hire a venue for research and development of the show, rehearsal space and performance space. I will be able pay my storyteller / performer and hire equipment such as lighting, projectors and sound equipment. After the show I will go on to produce hard copies of the book, complete with my lino printed illustrations.
If I don’t reach my target of £3500, I won’t receive any of the funds and the project will have to wait. It’s all or nothing!
But the exciting thing is, I can always over fund! So I have set a stretch target of £4000. If I reach my stretch target I will be able to make limited, special editions of the book, presented in a case complete with the audiobook on an mp3player, a torch and card cut-outs to cast shadows with. The book will be illustrated with my lino prints, pop-up pages and fold out maps. This and the original version of the book will be available to buy in the Coexist shop in Hamilton House next year!
Into The Woods is a story about a girl on a quest to reconnect with nature, the outdoors and the things that bring her alive. In her quest, she leaves her life in the city and revisits her childhood where she grew up on Dartmoor. She hopes that here she will find a future that feels more like her past, full of play and magic and woodland. But as she escapes one life in pursuit of another she experiences a kind of dualism, her soul is divided. When her two souls meet in the deepest, darkest realms of the moor she comes face to face with darkness itself. It is here, in this darkness that she experiences life from a limitless perspective, free from her human body.
“This is a beautiful and dark story of self discovery and exploration into the unknown, our natural surroundings and our inner selves. Dreamlike, it gathers around you like a mist among the trees.” – Jack Offord
The story maps out childhood experiences, the things that shape us, make us look at where we are from and who we have become, laced with a little bit of with magic and fairytale. I strongly believe in the power of storytelling, in this case, a gathering of people coming together to be taken on a journey through sound, imagery, darkness and imagination. I want to create an experience for my audience that conjures a feeling of magic and enchantment, and to tell a story that hopes to take you from your physical wold to a more dreamlike place.
The accompanying sound-scape was performed by Lewin Hayes and Jakk Tunicliffe, recorded in an underground, unused water reservoir, which, due to its size, material and structure, is pitch black and creates the longest natural reverberation audible to the human ear.
I stumbled across this phenomenon in 2010 when I was walking through the woods in Cornwall. At first I saw a strange turret jutting out of the ground, upon further investigation I found a small, rusted door in the hill covered in foliage. Behind the door is a narrow passageway with a low ceiling and a damp smell. As I followed the passage round to the left it got darker and darker until I came to a round tunnel just a few feet in diameter. At this point I could hear my movements echoing through the tunnel. I realised that whatever lay beyond the tunnel was enormous. I climbed in, of course. I found myself standing inside this undisturbed, underground chamber in complete darkness listening to the most extrodinary sounds. I could easily have walked straight past it without ever knowing it was there. I have been back several times to record both naturally occurring sounds and what I like to call ‘Pillar Music‘ – sounds made from tapping the metal pillars in the tank.
Ever since my discovery I have been exploring the notions of being alone in the dark, our fear of the unknown, and how we understand our place on this earth through our human senses.
I am a thinker, writer, dreamer and a maker. And like the character in my story I am also on a journey of discovery. Every stormy day, every time I feel wet grass on my feet, smell bonfire smoke, sleep under the stars, get lost in nature; these are the times I feel wild, these are the times I feel alive and this is what the character in my story is searching for.
I have been an events coordinator for Coexist for the last year and a half, but left my role in order to devote my time and energy to my own project. This is a story that comes back to me at various points in my life, each time for different reasons. I am now ready, (after several years of thinking, writing and dreaming), to share my story with you.
Camping on Dartmoor
‘Meeting The Wild’ at Ecodharma
Clarissa Pinkola Estés, ‘Women Who Run With The Wolves’
Miroslaw Bala, ‘How It Is’
Samuel Beckett, ‘How It Is’