Routes to Roots

HandMade Theatre undertook a fantastic two-day creative project in August at Gedling Country Park as part of the councils summer programme. The piece was inspired by a heritage theme and involved both performance and craft activities aimed at families visiting the park.

We set up a base station just beyond the play area to engage and gather audiences for the project throughout the two days. We also placed our large willow nests (from Flying The Nest) along the main circular route leading from the play park down to the arches.

Visitors of any age were welcomed to take part in a heritage craft activity. This happened throughout the two days taking place at the main base station. They were shown samples of willow, which is grown on site and also told about the historical significance of this as an important basket weaving material. They were shown how to bend the willow into a simple fish shape and then use wool and twine to weave the body. These woven fish could be taken away to finish and hang in participant gardens.

Participants could also take part in a mini performance trail and leading the way was Gertrude, (our keen archaeologist character from How Time Flies). She sang a song to get everyone started and introduced everyone to elements of nature and history along the path.  On route we encountered a range of different characters including a rather fierce Viking, a birder, a mother bird and a Miner. Participants took part in little dances, songs and poems while exploring the environment and nature around them.

Here are some lovely photos and comments from the project:

The theme of Heritage and Environment was a well thought out idea and had a good level of engagement with those who took part in the session.  It appealed to the adults as well as the children and the props were good at creating a fun approach to the story line all arranged in a wicker nests .  Loved the big egg and pigeon.  The walk involved a diversion along a secret meadow path, which got the children looking at wild flowers and butterflies.  The musical accompaniment was accomplished although it proved tricky to get the youngsters to sing-along. The final scene under the mining tunnel rings had all involved ducking down and experiencing the cramped mining conditions.  The willow weaving activity proved to be an attraction and was a good ploy to keep people’s attention before the walking activity.      Rick Wilson Trustee Friends of GCP.

Loved your performance trail! Very clever xx

Lovely to meet you all. We really enjoyed it.

Really enjoyed the shows today, remember it’s a teasel not a thistle’