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Tale of Cornwall tin mining is among Arts Council's hits of 2012

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: January 15, 2013

  • Ben Luxon (centre) with Steve Jacobs (left) and Jason Squibb in a scene from Miracle Theatre's production of Tin Picture: KIRSTIN PRISK

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A collaboration between Miracle Theatre, English Touring Opera and a Cornish singing legend has been named as one of the Arts Council's cultural highlights of 2012.

Tin, a play based on a 19th- century novel of crooked dealings and romance during the St Just mining boom, was ranked alongside the work of choreographer Hofesh Shechter, sculptor Antony Gormley, author Will Self and the Cultural Olympiad in the organisation's annual review of projects it funded.

Adapted and devised by Miracle director Bill Scott, Tin featured the talents of Redruth-born Ben Luxon, who has sung in most of the world's major opera houses. Now living in America, he came home to Cornwall for several months last spring to rehearse and perform the role. The show was seen by audiences in packed houses at Pool, Botallack, Upton Cross, Tavistock and Truro.

Bill Scott, who is currently editing a full-length film version of Tin, said yesterday he was delighted by the Arts Council's endorsement.

"I'm bowled over that Miracle and English Touring Opera have received this recognition from the Arts Council," he said. "Tin was a unique project and all 200 or more people who collaborated in making it should feel extremely proud of their achievement.

"Now we just have to complete the film version and release it as soon as possible, so everyone everywhere can enjoy this wonderful Cornish creation."

Every year, members of the Arts Council's commissioning team evaluate the numerous nationwide activities that receive funding from the organisation. They then publish a month-by-month list of the 12 considered to have had the greatest artistic and cultural impact. They concluded that the highlight of January 2012 was Shechter and Gormley's Survivor, while in February it was a national project called Envisioning The Library Of The Future.

In March the outstanding event was Miracle Theatre's collaboration with English Touring Opera, which had been commissioned by the Cornish Mining World Heritage Site. Redruth-born baritone Ben Luxon was joined by community choirs, as well as well-known Cornish actors Steve Jacobs, Ben Dyson, Dean Nolan, Elaine Claxton and Jason Squibb.

Miracle – which began life 30 years ago – is currently touring the South West with Frankenstein, before starting rehearsals for its summer production of Beckett's Waiting For Godot. For details, visit www.miracletheatre.co.uk

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