Show aims to capture essence of where we live

Dan Canham brings a fascinating look at The Fens to Spalding next month.
Dan Canham brings a fascinating look at The Fens to Spalding next month.

If you wanted to capture the essence of the Fens, how would you go about it?

Three years ago, renowned theatre artist Dan Canham decided to create a new performance, Ours Was The Fen Country, with the aim of doing just that.

He spent two years travelling around the Fens, talking to local people and collecting field recordings and interviews with those he met – amongst them eel-catchers, farmers, parish councillors, horse breeders, molly dancers and conservationists.

He was especially interested in traditional ways of life that could be disappearing.

Once he had this treasure trove of wonderful Fenland voices and conversations, he took the recordings and added evocative sound and movement to create a moving piece of theatre.

The result is a fascinating experience that we think many local people will enjoy, especially those who have an interest in our people, traditions and haunting landscape and are open to a new interpretation of the feel of the place.

The show is presented by four performers on a simple stage and takes place at the South Holland Centre on the evening of Wednesday, February 5. It lasts just one hour and at the end there will be the option to hear audience responses to the performance (or share your own) in a post-show discussion hosted by Sally Harrison, the Centre manager, who grew up in the area.

Ours Was the Fen Country toured nationally last Summer, including to excellent reviews at the 2013 Edinburgh Festival, where an audience member said the performance was “an incredibly engaging representation of generations of people who are from the fens in East Anglia – a patchwork of memories and recollections, true to the people who lived or are living in that part of the country.”

Such was its success that the show is on national tour again and we are proud to be hosting the only date taking place in The Fens.