Performance celebrates clay county community

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The Wheal Martyn Museum and Gardens came alive last week providing the perfect backdrop for an immersive outdoor theatre and dance collaboration.

The two night performance featured 200 performers made up from 18 different collaborators and others from the St Austell community.

Education Manager, Gemma Martin from Wheal Martyn was impressed by the vast public engagement with this project from linking the primaries through to college, professional and community all the way through to the local audience members.

“The evenings were a tremendous success and the audience seemed to really enjoy their experience and were wowed by the creativity and talent of the huge crew. Well done for all the hard work and effort that went in to making the performances so successful,” she said.

The project began in December 2017, building community interest and creative melting pots and working closely with Wheal Martyn staff and Cornwall College performing arts department.

Director of SpinDrift and the performances, Suzie West said how important the co- creation of the project was, as it gave the cast a chance to share stories and build a relationship with each other and the landscape.

“The seven month build up to the production gave time for ideas to be passed through the huge cast like Chinese whispers, interweaving between groups and forming the production slowly”.

“The passing on of stories and the building of a community has been a hugely rewarding part of the project for everyone. The final production, so full of energy, connection and celebration is a true summing up of this epic adventure” she continued.

Acting Student, Naomi Buckley said the experience “has been brilliant”.

“Having the opportunity to collaborate with professional companies and the chance to perform at Wheal Martyn, a site with such a rich history has been fantastic,” she added.

School Teacher, Angela Praed said it was “a lovely evening, with beautiful images of the body on the landscape”.

“The climax in the end was gorgeous seeing the diversity of group and commitment of the performers,” she continued.

Suzie added that the momentum of the project and newly found community will propel SpinDrift and the local performing community into next year’s celebration of St Austell.

Thanks were extended to all of the collaborators and the supporters of Clay Walks; SpinDrift, Cornwall College St Austell, Falmouth College, Falmouth University, 4FS Dance, Hall for Cornwall Youth Dance, Continuum, Making Waves Exim Dance, Salt and Sky, Hornet Street Band, Clay Youth Choir, Imerys Women’s Choir, All Boys Dance, Mount Charles Primary School, Roche Primary, Treverbyn Academy and the Wheal Martyn team.

For more information on the range of Performing Arts courses available across The Cornwall College Group visit or call 0330 123 2523.