Wild garden’s the stage for a new theatre production

The audience will play a key role in the new interactive outdoor theatre production being written by Katrina Heath, pictured
The audience will play a key role in the new interactive outdoor theatre production being written by Katrina Heath, pictured

Through the late summer and early autumn, townspeople in parts of Todmorden will be finding out how they can take part in a new interactive theatre production to be held in Ferney Lee School’s Wild Garden on October 31 - and help make it a success.

Katrina Heath has secured grants for the arts funding from the Arts Council to present Into The Wild Woods, which she says is suitable for all children, including the very young - and the very lively!

The Todmorden based theatre producer says: “Into The Wild Woods is an interactive promenade production so there will be joining in and walking involved, no sitting quietly for this show!

“The play will take the audience on an adventure into the Wild Woods, and will be performed at 1pm to take advantage of the natural light and to make sure it isn’t past the audiences bed time.”

Katrina said the show is part of a research and personal development project she is undertaking.

“Part of it involves working with an experienced writer to develop a new script. I have previously only written adaptations of classic tales.

“I am very lucky that local writer and director Joyce Branagh has agreed to mentor me through the process of writing and directing a new piece of theatre.”

Katrina explained that the project also gave her the opportunity to find out what the audience want from a piece of theatre. “Do they want to watch, join in, or make things that will be in the show? I will be out and about, beginning in August and through September speaking to those families who live closest to the venue - those at the Ashenhurst estate, Victoria Road and other surrounding areas - to tell them about the show and find out how they would like to be involved.

“The third part of the project has involved me visiting Lancaster to see the preparation for, and a production of, Hansel and Gretal in that city’s Williamson Park. The cast and crew have been very welcoming and helpful and the play itself outstanding.”

The Ferney Lee show will be presented free of charge, and Katrina, who has presented productions through StoryMagic Theatre, including annual pantomimes staged at Hebden Bridge and utilising many young Calder Valley actors, but is undertaking this new challenge in her own right, said she was dcelighted to have received support from the Arts Council and hoped people would enjoy the fruits of what she has been learning.

“I am very excited to be bringing new theatrical experiences to the people of Todmorden,” she said.