What a week! After being commissioned by Arts NK and Doddington Hall to create a magical outdoor piece of circus theatre, we spent the wee working with 10 community members from circus, dance and theatre backgrounds. It culminated in a piece that took audiences on a journey of one girls diary of imagination, bringing to life various fantasies and fears, that ultimately lead her to find the celebration in fantasy and reality. The 30-minute piece was the finale to the Summer of Imagination at Doddington Hall and Gardens, which proved to be the busiest day with over 500 in attendance! Imaginarium brought you into a young woman’s bedroom, set in the forest, where she rediscovers her diary from a girl. Upon reading it, she remembers all of her childish fantasies and fears, and as things progress, she learns that her fantasies became more of a reality as she got older, sometimes causing challenges in her life, but ultimately her imagination allows her to overcome these hardships. Live, laugh, love and be free! Her discovery welcomes the audience into an imaginative world of modern fairies, empowering love stories, magical dreams and a few nightmares, too.
The performers worked in some interesting conditions, including wind and rain, all while hanging from a massive old Cedar Tree in the beautiful garden setting. With such limited time to rehearse, the piece was a fantastic success with audiences left stunned by the aerial feats and in a sense of magical wonderment… and also covered in green and gold glitter from the mystical finish to the show, which showcased the cast celebrating the many facets of imagination and real life issues, leaving guests empowered and mystified. Audiences were also invited to explore the interactive set, with poetic dairy entries and glittering fortune tellers, origami picture books and flowers all around. The performance meets installation was a first for many guests and a treat for audiences both young and old. Luckily, the sun stayed out just long enough for the performance, before the British weather made its return!
We want to say a huge thank you to Doddington Hall & Gardens for commissioning the piece, and to Arts NK for welcoming us to their family… and letting us abuse their performers! Kidding… only slightly! A proud moment for many first time performers and an exciting opportunity to build relationships and help spread circus arts around the Midlands. Well done team!