Progress at BytheWay

Progress at BytheWay

Members of the Creative Group recently visited the BytheWay site to walk the route the audience will take.  We were on the lookout for interesting or mysterious settings for scenes, images and happenings and found plenty!  We have now developed a framework for the production and held two workshops on music and choreography.  With Karen’s help we now have a Drovers’ song and with Jazz we put together a movement piece for the Navvies’ scene.

At the workshop on Thursday November 23rd we hope to begin to pull it all together.  Tony Horitz and Adrian Newton will be working on Sound and Performance, using the themes and recordings we have developed so far in preparation for the start of rehearsals in 2018.

WCT Members Attend Bistaki's New Show in Hull

WCT Members Attend Bistaki's New Show in Hull

The collective le G Bistaki presents The Baina Trampa Fritz Fallen

WCT members were invited by Inside Out Dorset’s Co-artistic director, Bill Gee, to attend Bistaki ’s show, ‘The Baina Trampa Fritz Fallen’ performed in Hull in early September. Clare and David Small made the journey up to Hull on behalf of WCT. Clare describes the experience:

“Cirque Choregraphique d’Investigation”

A Choreographic Circus of Investigation, is how Bastaki define themselves. And this was exactly what we found them to be when we watched their performance at Hull 2017 Freedom Festival. Although, if asked beforehand, we would not have been able to guess what to expect, we knew that there would be men in white suits and that corn was heavily involved. But how this would keep us gripped, entertained and leave us pondering for hours afterwards, we could not have anticipated.

There was certainly a circus element, with mimed, gentle, humorous innuendo, slapstick antics and juggling with corn and shovels. This was well received by the audience of hundreds that followed the action around the side streets of the Guild Hall and adjoining Queens Gardens that was the venue for this unique event.  Some audience members were led Pied Piper style to explore a mosaic corn maze that changed direction with hypnotic sweeping swirls. The mood switched to dark controlled aggregation between the protagonists and intense passionate salsa ballet movement and shovel juggling!

The action was moved along with innovative use of place that encouraged visual investigation and exploration of the environment.

The finale involved the volunteers in a precisely choreographed formation shovel- wielding piece and more hilarious slapstick that culminated in the “death” of Bastaki and the audience having fiesta style corn-tossing salsa fun and then being invited to help sweep it all up!,

The whole was held together with strong precise choreography that gave the performance a solid structure in which anarchic mayhem could delight and entertain in this stylish, thought-provoking piece of theatre.

One audience member on being asked what they thought at the end said,  “Well, it was, just a little bit crazy?”  Good comment.

Local community involvement

The community choir and actors facilitated the movement of the action through the streets in varied and unusual use of place and structure that had been well thought out.  A utilitarian flat roof and large recycle bin became the venue for lobbing heavy bags of corn that required precision to result in a satisfying donging sound when the lob was successful and the sack landed in the bin.  Corn was fed into a winnowing machine to spill out in a golden shower to mix with a precisely placed corn mosaic reflecting the geometric brick pavement.

A movement piece involving the volunteers using a local landmark was projected on to a wall and bags of corn adorned the street furniture, walls, and statues highlighting the way to the Gardens where the bandstand and reflective lakeside were used for mosaic and movement pieces, involving cornsack heaving and rat splatting.


Autumn Workshops 

Autumn Workshops 

Thursday 28th September 2017
Singing for Theatre led by Karen Wimhurst

     Karen is a widely commissioned composer ranging from chamber works to music theatre and large-scale, collaborative productions.  She works across musical genres, bridging jazz, folk and contemporary classical ensembles.
She has worked with WCT in the past, most recently to create the evocative music for What They Left Behind.
She will lead us in putting to music and recording some of the materials we have found for BytheWay.

Thursday 19th October 2017
Movement for Theatre led by Jasmine Taylor 

    Jazz is a choreographer and educator in dance with experience in many genres and in working with different age groups and levels of ability.  She has worked in site-specific locations and on community projects.

We will be working with Jazz on movement sequences for the production.

Thursday 23rd November 2017
Sound and performance led by Tony Horitz and Adrian Newton

  Tony, our director, and Adrian, our sound designer, will run a workshop using the themes and recordings we have developed so far in preparation for the start of rehearsals in 2018.

This is your opportunity to be part of an exciting outdoor theatre production or just find out more about community theatre.  

The workshops will be held at the Methodist Church Hall, 4A King Street, Wimborne BH21 1DY from 7.30 – 9.30 pm
Free to members of WCT and £5 a workshop for non-members.  You can attend all or any of them.


‘By The Way’ - a new project in a wood

‘By The Way’ - a new project in a wood

Making Sounds in a Wood

We have been exploring ideas for a sound performance in the boggy wood known as BytheWay, in Colehill, Wimborne.

Following a session earlier in 2017 led by sound artist, Adrian Newton, we decided to explore the idea of using sound recordings as the basis for our next small-scale production in the wood at BytheWay. We are working with Adrian to create a sound tapestry, with performance directed by Tony Horitz.

Using pieces of research as the starting point, we are considering sounds and images associated with the natural environment of the area and its history: stories of fairies and Jack o’Lantern and characters who passed through – the carters and drovers who gathered their animals there before market day, the soldiers in the pub and the travellers on the railway line which crossed the area.

We are working with Hannah Bosence, Countryside Officer for Christchurch and East Dorset District Councils, which manage the site, designated East Dorset’s first Suitable Alternative Natural Green Space.

You will find BytheWay Field at 244 Leigh Rd, Wimborne BH21 2BZ, signposted on the left as you drive out of Wimborne on the Leigh Road.

Thanks to East Dorset District Council for funding support.

Quiz Night on Wednesday 1st November

Quiz Night on Wednesday 1st November

WCT’s annual Quiz Night on Wednesday 1st November was attended by around 60 people and raised £350 for our funds which will be spent on our next project at BytheWay Field.

THANK YOU to all our loyal supporters who helped make the event such a success but special thanks go to our Quizmaster John Billington and ace caterer Clare Small as well as all the members who contributed food, time and their organisational skills.

WCT’s Treasure Trail on 14th July was a big success – around 50 people took part and we raised over £300 for WCT funds.

Thanks to Chris and Frank Dowdle for compiling a fun and challenging  trail which everyone seemed to really enjoy.  And to Clare Small for putting together the magnificent hamper.

Adrian, Lynnet and Charlie Williams were worthy winners closely followed by the Black Pug Books team.


Sounds in a Forest

Sounds in a Forest

Listen HERE to young actors perform in Holt Forest (By Hook or By Crook, 2004), and local people talk about their forest, people being lost there, and stories about local characters, like Arthur Coffin, who lived in a cottage in the forest, and his son, Walt.

In other recordings people referred to the moment when national politics affected the fate of local girl, Amy Farrant, when her path crossed with that of the Duke of Monmouth in Holt parish.  Different points of view about the forest surfaced: to what extent should it be managed by English Nature, how freely should horses be ridden on paths, should grazing be reintroduced, to what extent should the wood be promoted as a place for people and dogs to visit?

As well as these contemporary concerns, we explored the symbolism of forests, the realm of nature’s secrets, and as places for testing and initiation or a spiritual world which we penetrate to find meaning.

WCT’s next show will take place in boggy woodland on Leigh Common, Colehill, near Wimborne in 2018.