Conceived by Louise Ann Wilson and Wils Wilson
Created with Amanda Dalton (writer) and Hugh Nankivell (composer)
Produced by wilson+wilson
Located on the rugged North Yorkshire coastline near the villages of Lythe and Sandsend, Mulgrave was a journey into the heart of Mulgrave Woods and an exploration of the tamed, untamed and untameable within the natural world and the human soul.
'Visually unforgettable, poignant and witty... Magic.'
Kate Bassett, Independent on Sunday
Mulgrave was created for and inspired by Mulgrave Woods, their atmosphere, their topography, their past present and future. It was deeply rooted in its location at every level and involved 16 local performers alongside a professional acting company.
'The eye is ravished by natural beauty, even as the brain debates man's relationship with it. Spectacular coups de théâtre, sudden twists in the narrative and a sly sense of humour are evident throughout.'
Charles Spencer , The Daily Telegraph
Travelling mostly on foot, and sometimes on 6-seater buggies, audiences of 40 were taken on a 4 mile journey, whilst music, stunning visual images, live action, song and installation unfolded around them. Their journey - from the sea, into the woods, and back down to the sea - was like a great wave, and was fundamental to the structure, narrative and visual imagery of Mulgrave.
Mulgrave was in part inspired by the true stories connected with the woods: of Omai - "the noble savage" - brought back from his Tahitian Island on one of Cook's ships, and later returned there with a bizarre selection of "gifts" from the British; of Maharajah Duleep Singh, dressing as an English country gent even as Queen Victoria re-cut his koh-i-noor diamond and displayed it as her own, and Humphry Repton with a vision for Mulgrave that would cultivate the wild, untamed and uncontrolled aspects of nature. Drawing on folk and fairy stories and the mythology of forests, Mulgrave also told the dark tale of The Boy Who Ran From the Sea, who forever runs, like a river, between the dark heart of the woods and the open sea, and finds no rest in either. And his plight was echoed in the stories of all the characters, "all at sea" or "like fish out of water", caught between a desire for exploration and the breaking of boundaries, and a longing to find a way back to Eden, or at least a kind of home.
'There is a real sense of having entered into a private and magical world, and of having seen, heard, smelled and felt something of the dark, secret, mysterious heart of the woods.'
Lyn Gardner, The Guardian
A CD of Tree Songs from Mulgrave is available for £5.50 (including p+p). To buy a copy, please send your cheque made payable to wilson+wilson to The Administrator, wilson+wilson, Old House Farm, Elland Road, Barkisland, West Yorkshire HX4 0DJ.
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