We made an outdoor version of Tree for The Inside Out Festival, commissioned by Pavilion Dance South West and funded by Arts Council England. It was an entirely different show with completely different performers – looking at how we connect right now to nature. At its core, the piece asks – what have we forgotten in our information age, in our cultured times? Tree wasn’t just about nature, but also about the human psyche, looking at our outside selves in relation to the geology of our inside selves.
It involved taking an audience of 80 people on a 90 minute journey across meadows, down to the sea and across ancient fields and into woodland where the finale takes place. Along the way the audience get to understand the geography, the wildlife and the history of the land as well as watching the humorous stories of these men’s lives as they go. And all via dance.
Daniel Whiley played a footballer on community service. Thom Heyes, a raver who starts off in Manchester and finds himself under a bush in Bournemouth. And then Lewys Holt playing a person looking for themselves through nature. And finally origianl cast member Leon Smith playing Colin the National Trust Guide – one of the funniest people I have ever met in my life.
Director Bill Gee called it ‘ the highlight of the festival’.