The Peterborough Environment and City Trust Green Festival 2016 was opened on the 13th August.
Following months of planning and a successful funding bid, installation of the Future Floodlands Stage and its associated sculpture and attractions was begun at lunchtime on the 12th August. All went to schedule and the dress rehearsals were held on the Friday evening while the backdrop was set up right in front of Peterborough Cathedral.
With the final tweaks on Saturday morning, Eastern Angles Theatre Company started the first performances of two schedules of the six specially commissioned plays exploring rising waterlevels and climate change.
Spilling Convention by Clare Currie
On Such A Full Sea by Hilary Spears
Losing It by Vikki Touzel
In The Wake Of The Flood by Elaine Ewart
Somewhere Else by William Alderson
Beside The Seaside by Liv Jones
The plays were directed by Poppy Rowley, Theatre Director and Artistic Associate of Eastern Angles Theatre Company. The project, bidding process and the selection of scripts for the plays had also greatly benefitted from the help of Keely Mills, also of Eastern Angles. The backdrop for the performances had been conceived by James Tovey, who had then brought in John Elson, artist, to work on the design and layout of the specially cut plywood panels. The backdrop was divided into six pieces, each eight foot long, to provide flexibility on the day and help with transportation and reuse at a later date. Another important part of the interactive stage was the submersion tent. Initially conceived by James Tovey as a tent for audience members to enter and have an underwater lightshow experience, this feature was handed over to artist Luke Payn to make his own and he developed the concept adding layers of meaning by making digital compositions, through which the front of the cathedral could be viewed, as though under water.
Additional artworks by James Tovey, included as part of the Floodlands stage:
Future Floodplain Xoanon – 8 foot standing sculpture
Driftwood Xoanon – 9 foot standing sculpture
The Floodmonster – 25 by 12 foot wooden snake
Sea Plastic Torii Henge – 20 foot diameter, wooden framework, adorned with sea plastic, collected from a single tide, aligned with the cosmos by the astronomical knowledge of Chris Pounsett and Duncan Vessey
Wishing Willow Torii Door – interactive wooden branch sculpture, made for a collaboration with Douglas Thompson, artist
You are the Sea, the Sun, the Moon and the Stars – 2 wooden assemblage sculptures, made by the children of the Learning Tree nursery, with the help of James Tovey
The Spanner – a large traditional boatbuilding tool, made and used by James Tovey, repurposed as an art object
The Flood Detection Stick – a reliable predictive device
Turf Boat – traditional boatbuilding frame/former
Three boats were refitted and refinished and arranged on the set – two used by the audience for interactive seating during the performances, one used as part of the set:
Birdie – 11 foot 6 inch river skiff, designed and built by James Tovey
Picnic – 14 foot garvey punt, designed and built by James Tovey
Puffin – 14 foot clinker Yachting World Day Boat, built in 1962 by LH Walker; renovated from a wreck 2012 by James Tovey
Eastern Angles Theatre Company employed eight actors to perform the plays. The cast included:
The stageset took a team of people to erect and dismantle, these included:
Onsite the audience, cast and crew greatly benefitted from the Castor Ales beer tent providing refreshments, as organised by Duncan Vessey, who also included ales by Bexar County on his racks.
Musical direction by Lucy Keirl
Stage Management by Liv Jones and Penny Griffin
A huge thanks goes out to these people below, who also helped bring about the event:
Karen Igho, Keely Mills, Samuel Beagley, Ivan Cutting, Metal Peterborough, Tony Henderson, Chris Erskine, Laura Fanthorpe, Peterborough Environment City Trust, Charlie Genever, Stuart Orme, and all at Peterborough Cathedral.
The project would not have been possible without the funding that came from the Peterborough Environment City Trust and from Seedbed Trust.