Wednesday 13th March 2019 – Somerset Wildlife Trust is delighted to announce that, along with Somerset-based Wassail Theatre Company, generous funding has been received from Arts Council England and The Mackintosh Foundation to create an all new production of The Somerset Charabanc for 2019. (pronounced sha-ra-bang).
The Somerset Charabanc is a unique outdoor, participatory theatrical experience. The Charabanc itself is a 1920’s miller’s cart pulled slowly by two Suffolk Punch horses, and audience and performers share the space for the duration of the storytelling performance. This year’s story and adventure - delivered in association with two of Somerset's most exciting and inventive performance companies: Mumblecrust Theatre and Pocketfluff Productions, will be set against the backdrop of Westhay Moor National Nature Reserve – Somerset’s Wildlife Trust’s most iconic, and internationally acclaimed wetland reserve on the Avalon Marshes.
The all-new story, written by Wassail’s Nick White, will focus on addressing important socio-environmental issues surrounding the topic of climate change that are relevant both internationally and locally in Somerset – particularly those that affect the wonderful wetland wildlife and ecology of this internationally significant wetland site on the Avalon Marshes.
Performances will run between 29 May - 16 June 2019 and tickets will go on general sale from the 23rd April, with further details being published shortly on the Somerset Wildlife Trust website.
Katie Arber of Somerset Wildlife Trust says, “We’re so excited to be working on this project in partnership with Wassail Theatre Company – an unusual relationship - but one that reflects the growing connection between arts, culture and conservation. The Somerset Charabanc will provide a completely new and truly exciting way of experiencing our nature reserves, and the incredibly special species that live there. Whether you love nature but don’t go to the theatre, or love theatre but don’t often connect with nature, this is one opportunity that you won’t want to miss out on.”
She adds, “We hope that people will be moved by the story, affected by the subject matter and, in considering what’s at stake for the natural world around us and the county’s fragile ecosystems, be inspired to make a difference in their own lives.”
Wassail’s Artistic Producer Nick White, who will be writing the script said, “We are so excited to be working in partnership with Somerset Wildlife Trust on a new version of The Somerset Charabanc. This is a timely production for us and having spent much of 2018 touring to village halls or pubs, we’re delighted to be working outside for the summer. Huge thanks have to go to our funders, Arts Council England through the National Lottery and The Mackintosh Foundation, and our other supporters, for making it possible.”
For interviews and further information please contact Kirby Everett on 01823 652413 or email: or Beccy Willmetts on 01823 652414 or
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Images are attached for use with this news release. They are granted on a one-time use basis, in association with this release and the photographer must be credited. More images available on request.
Notes to editors:
About Somerset Wildlife Trust – www.somersetwildlife.org
Somerset’s wildlife is part of what makes living, working and visiting the county so special. Somerset Wildlife Trust has been protecting vulnerable wildlife and preserving Somerset’s wild places for over 50 years and, with over 19,000 members, is the largest conservation charity in the county. Alongside our members and volunteers we work year round to protect wildlife, transform landscapes and put nature back into people’s lives.
Our reserves holding of over 1700 hectares incorporates a diverse range of habitats from wetlands to woodlands, grasslands and meadows, and provide secure environments for a diverse range of wildlife such as Dormice, Otters, Hedgehogs, Barn Owls and many other species - as well as providing safe havens for some of Somerset’s most iconic species such as Bittern and Large Blue butterfly. These habitats also connect green spaces across the county so wildlife can travel, and are the bedrock upon which we are able to deliver key conservation programmes across the year.
The majority of our work is made possible through the support of our members and people who live and work in the county who choose to make donations, fundraise for us or leave generous legacies. By working together with our members and supporters we really can make a difference.