BA(Hons) Fine Art Senior Lecturer, Mercedes Kemp, is also Community and Research Director of international site-specific theatre company WildWorks. Here she talks about the company’s current production, at the Lost Gardens of Heligan – outdoor promenade performance 100:UnEarth – for which she is Lead Artist, Writer and Researcher…The acclaimed production is on until 22 July 2018, tickets from Hall For Cornwall…
‘100:UnEarth tells the story of Orpheus and Eurydice. A tragic love story. Orpheus returns to his beloved wife Eurydice. On the day they are reunited she is killed in a tragic accident. Orpheus cannot accept her death and embarks on an audacious quest to pluck her out of the Underworld. Our telling of the story is set in the vast grounds of the Lost Gardens of Heligan, and is told in a grand scale.
In 100:UnEarth, WildWorks have set the myth against the background of the First World War and the catastrophic losses it produced. The war has ended. The men are coming home. Many are damaged, broken. They return to the families they left behind. Their women have learned to survive alone, to be self-reliant, work the land, feed themselves and their children. Nothing will ever be the same…
As we journey through the Underworld we encounter the souls of those who lost their lives in the Great War, but also of those who died in more recent conflicts. Hades, the great Lord of Death continues to reap his harvest.
The Lost Gardens of Heligan give us the perfect metaphor. A place where growth and decay co-exist. A place full of promise. A place that teaches us a valuable lesson. Death is inevitable. Gardens die out in the winter, but they return back to life in the spring. And love goes on, endlessly regenerating itself.
This multi-disciplinary promenade production uses every art form: stage design, installation, performance, music, soundscape, video projection. And its connections to Falmouth University are strong: students from AMATA have done an amazing job, alongside 200 community volunteers and a team of sixty professionals. Production Designer Myrddin Wannell and Community Projects and Underworld Designer Ellie Williams are both BA(Hons) Fine Art alumni and were my students twelve years ago. Undergraduates and graduates from the School of Film and Television have been capturing our every move. Associate Lecturer in Dance and Choreography, Emily Dobson, has given performers all their moves.
I am immensely proud to have led this project to completion. Catch it if you can. Until July 22nd at the Lost Gardens of Heligan‘.
100: UnEarth is co-commissioned by 14-18 NOW and The Lost Gardens of Heligan
“Last night, some magic in the mist. 100: UnEarth a beautiful immersive experience, A love story inspired by Orpheus and Eurydice. See this if you can.” Falmouth University Chancellor Dawn French on Twitter