Thursday, November 02, 2017

A Night In The Company Of Wolves, With Burn The Curtain...



In a tiny village on the edge of the mountains, a young girl puts on her red shoes and cloak, and heads into the forest alone, watched by unseen eyes.
 
As the shadows lengthen, she begins to run… Now the hunt begins.
 
Angela Carter’s classic tale has been adapted by Burn the Curtain and Shiona Morton to be a promenade theatre adventure for runners and walkers. It also includes elements of the author’s stories ‘Wolf-Alice’, ‘Peter and the Wolf ‘ and ‘The Werewolf’.
 
Join Burn the Curtain in the theatrical re-telling of this dark and mysterious modern classic. We need you to run or walk with us. To help us to sniff out those who have been born feet first, to hunt those who are hairy on the inside…


On Friday the 28th of October, I was lucky enough to have won tickets to see the Burn The Curtain Theatre Company perform at The Dream in Sutton Manor. I strongly urge you to get yourself along to a performance when they visit an area you can reach - it was a completely new experience for me and I'm still gushing about it when I mention it to people.

When myself and Gail arrived at The Dream, I actually had no idea what to expect.. The e-mail (which was completely in character!) urged us to be at the venue for 7pm so that the main event could begin at 7.30. We were actually the first ones there, but we were immediately reassured by the stewards who immediately saw our confused looks in the car park - they took control and pointed us in the right direction.
 
Now, I've been to The Dream before - albeit in the daylight, and even though I was armed with a torch I immediately lost all sense of direction when it came to navigating around the dirt pathways to the registration tent. Thankfully, the team had various people at places where the pathways split so we found ourselves registering with no huge issues. The staff who manned the tents, and those who took the time to register people were so friendly and chatty - putting us at ease even though we were in the pitch black darkness armed with only our torches for company at that point.
 
 
The area had been set up to direct two different groups around the woodland, on two different trails, following two different sections of the same story. Impressive!

At first, we were all guided up and given a brief introduction to the characters - The Priest and The Baron. From then on in, it depended on whether you had signed up to the 'Hunter' group who were running (around 4.5 miles, at a fast pace) or the 'Gatherers' (walking, around 2.5 miles).
 
We were in the Gatherer group naturally, as being 7 months pregnant.. I wasn't going to be running very far. I have to say, this group was still quite a strong pace - as children were excited to see the characters and progress the story, they set the pace and the group soon split into strong walkers and the ones who were always playing catch up. I was the latter, but I enjoyed it none-the-less - I was able to keep up with the plot and still got involved in the character interaction the actors provided.
 
 
The characters, were fantastic.
 
The costuming, the fa├žade they kept up when dealing with 'the villagers' (..us!) and everything about the interaction they provided was done so at an incredibly professional level. I don't actually think they broke character once, which added to the magic of the whole evening.
 
At one point, we were all brought back together for refreshments which was a very welcome hot chocolate underneath the stars. I remember at one point, The Baron was going around to each group encouraging us to share information with one another as we pieced together the mystery behind the plot. Things did take a turn for the sinister then, and we found ourselves on the run!
 
I do want to make a special mention to the gentleman who walked with us, who had two huge speakers attached to his back which played various music and ambient noise when needed. I honestly felt so 'in' the production at times, Gail had to remind me to stop walking so fast! He had a habit of staying by our sides though, so it was hard not to get caught up in the soundtrack he was playing - very well played, Speaker Man!
 

The performance started at 7.30pm, and we found ourselves applauding the actors at around 10.10pm - forty minutes later than anticipated, but very worth while. As we made our way back down to the car park it was thoroughly refreshing to hear everyone buzzing about the event - talking about everything from the characters, to the setting.

I can't recommend the show more. If you get the chance to attend a production by this talented group of people, make sure it sits at the top of your priorities - you won't be disappointed.
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