If you live in, work in, come from, visit, know or have any thoughts about the county of Somersetshire, then read on. (Please read on if these descriptors are true either in the past, present or maybe even future).
Between 2002 - 2005, three close friends and I ran Peter Quince Theatre Company, romping around Somerset and Dorset making plays and films and teaching young people how to make plays and films.
Once the Quince stopped making work and I left Somerset as a theatre maker, I vowed I would return one day to get back on the wagon. Herein lies the beginning of that journey.
The first stage is this little project. In a nutshell, I am the actor, and my friend/colleague/fellow Somersetian Emma Earle is the director. Together we are making YER TIS, a new play designed to inspire young people into loving Somerset.
We are in pre-Research and Development stage at the moment. Thanks to the generosity of Take Art we are spending two days in May thinking about the play properly, and then in August we'll be making it. Come September and I will be performing it to small audiences of young people and anyone interested in Somerset for the beginnings of what I hope will be a long and fruitful return to creating and producing theatre in Somerset.
To start, you can help, dear reader. If you have any connection to Somerset, please answer these questions for me. Send your replies to my email address: firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a comment below.
Thank you. Simply, thank you.
- What is your connection with Somerset? Where do you live, where did you grow up, how did your work take you around the county?
- Where is your favourite place in Somerset? This might be a town or village, specific building or feature of the natural environment. But just one place!
- How do you feel about Somerset? Do you love it, like it, dislike it, despise it? Why?
- What do you think of when you think about Somerset? What is the first thing that comes to mind?
- What does Somerset mean to you?
- If you could save one thing about, or from Somerset, what would it be and why?
- If you could describe Somerset in one word, what would it be?
- Do you have anything else you’d like to say about Somerset?
1. My grandparents lived in Milverton all the time I was growing up. We visited once or twice a year. My father lived there as a child, too, though in a different town. Since my grandmother died about 8 years ago I've had very little connection with Somerset which feels quite peculiar.ReplyDelete
2. As above - Milverton. In a funny way though as it is in my memory as a fairly ordinary village, rather than the absolutely stunningly pretty place I realised it was when I drove through much more recently.
3. Like it - though don't know vast swathes of it.
4. Countryside - my grandparents' house looked over a wheat field where it grew as high as our heads when we were little, and then when my grandmother moved after my Grandpa died she had a view of a green hill with a solitary big tree at the top which we used to climb. We were sad when it was cut down. I think of red earth, cows, country walks and splashing in streams (like Tarr Steps on Exmoor).
5. It means memories of my grandparents.
6. The field by my grandmother's house - they've been threatening to build houses on it forever. Actually there are probably far more important things to save but that's what I can think of!
8. I think what you're doing sounds brilliant - regional identities are very important and Somerset definitely has one worth preserving.