WHAT better place to stage a version of the classic story Wind In The Willows than in the great outdoors?
And that is what innovative theatre company Benchmark aims to do early next month.
They will take a group of 14 young people and stage a promenade style theatre performance in Dalton Bank nature reserve.
It’s a big challenge for Benchmark and for the company of young actors who will recreate Kenneth Grahame’s much-loved story after little more than 10 days’ rehearsal.
It’s an echo of last year’s successful staging of George Orwell’s Animal Farm, set where else but on a local farm.
This is the company that put the cult work Fightclub in an underground car park with a team of professional actors, has set up a performing arts academy and introduced youngsters to one of the theatre’s most traditional performance styles by staging a series of mini-pantos.
Breakneck speed of thought it might seem, but this is a company determined to create inspiring theatre and to engage young people. In projects such as Wind In The Willows, they look set to achieve both.
Paul Danby, who with Richard Nutter, runs Benchmark, has written a new performance version of Grahame’s story.
The company begins rehearsals, on site at Dalton, next week and performances will begin on August 1 (2pm and 7pm) with repeat shows the following day.
The style will be promenade, eyes are being kept firmly on the weather, but audiences are advised to dress accordingly.
The hour long show will involve a cast of young performers aged between nine and 16. They will rehearse from 10am until 5pm for a performance that Paul Danby describes as high octane and really dramatic.