Jackie Butler gets the low-down on the magical new outdoor production by Cornwall’s Rogue Theatre from the company’s Ollie Oakenshield.
A walk in the forest takes on an intriguing and adventurous complexion when you're in the company of Rogue Theatre. The groundbreaking, grassroots Cornish company are poised to lead the brave and imaginative into the otherworldly land of their Wild Woodland Summer Ball.
Set in the heart of Tehidy Woods between Camborne and the Atlantic Ocean, their brand new two-hour production walks a thin line between the gritty and the ethereal.
It takes the form of a septet of theatrical vignettes that work on several different levels to appeal to all ages, in a 12-day run of afternoon and evening outdoor performances. Focusing on our concept of being "lost", it promises stories for boys and girls and grown-ups who still hear the call of the wild. Devised, written and directed by the company's founding duo, Ollie Oakenshield and Angelina Boscarelli, it follows in the footsteps of their previous dramatic forays in their favourite, breathtakingly beautiful, location – The Winter Wood, Dancer and The Devil in The Woods and King Arthur, The Wild Hunt.
"There's an earthy folklore underbelly to all the stories. One is about two old friends who used to be flapper girls in their youth; in their later years one loses her marbles and finds them in the fictional Land of Fae where they come together again and find magic in their childhood friendship.
"It's looking at people who get lost in our society," reveals Ollie, who as King of the Woods portrays a Pan-like character.
Angelina is Moon, the Queen of the Sky – in the style of a film noir actress – and between them they weave a web of tales of pirate girls, raven women, wolf boys, wide-eyed explorers and lost bankers, incorporating poetry written by Anna Maria Murphy.
"Ed, the banker, for example, gets lost in his own greed and comes to the Wild Wood to find his inner animal," explains Ollie.
"Each story gets told in a different way. Ed is played by Rob Meneer who is a fantastic dancer. The boy who dreams of wolves makes use of the amazing acrobatic circus skills of Aaron Marshall.
"We've got swordfighting too; the cutlasses are coming this afternoon," adds an excited Ollie, who loves little better than a stage battle.
The company, with regulars like Becky Bordeaux as well as a flurry of newcomers, can boast a posse of good singers, teamed with the live music talents of Cornish multi-instrumentalist Morgan Val Baker who is working with Rogue for the first time.
There will be hot refreshments, cold drinks, beer, wine and cider, and toilets near the performance area. Rogue advise bringing a picnic blanket, a warm waterproof coat, shoes for adventure (wellies if it has been raining) and a torch for the evening show. There will be hay bales and log rings to sit on; cushions or fold-out chairs are optional. The path is bumpy under foot but should be fine for a rugged buggy.
"It also launches Out of The Woods, a Rogue project supported by Arts Council England; a season of work in Cornwall also including the return of Madame Lucinda's Wonder Show, a Halloween theatre show in Tehidy called The Hallowed and Winter Wood 2013…so watch this space!," says artistic director Angelina.
The Wild Woodland Summer Ball gathers at 2.30pm and 7.30pm from August 21 to 26, 29 to 31, and on September 1 and 2, with an evening Twilight Ball only on August 28, at Tehidy Woods North Cliffs, near Portreath. For tickets visit crbo.co.uk or call 01726 879500. We are giving away a prize of a family ticket (up to six people) to a performance of your choice. Just email the answer to the question below, with your name, address and daytime number, to email@example.com, putting Wild Woodland Summer Ball Competition in the subject line, to arrive no later than noon on Tuesday, August 20.