Dreams of Midsummer Madness (1987)

Purpose

One of the first principles of the Company was to create performance for places that people might not expect it; as we put it on the publicity–to create 'unusual performances in unlikely places'.

Even in that initial Art Gallery performance, we had really enjoyed the performances we did outdoors. So why not create something specifically as an outdoor performance, particularly something that would work in parks and green spaces.

Details

Gary Cromack is an artist and sculptor who makes beautiful installations. Working with Heads Together fo the first time on this project, he cast 500 plaster shells.

Laid in a long tapering line with three performers in white; the dreamy performance worked brilliantly in all kinds of outdoor settings...

Performers Tamsin Spain, Adrian Sinclair and Gerry Turvey with Gary Cromack's line of shells in the foreground

Partners

The project was initially a Public Art (now Beam) commission working initially in the green space outside the Elizabethan Gallery in Wakefield. The Gallery wanted to attract the thousands of people going to the market and shops who would pass the space, but not necessarily venture in...

Funding

The original installation, residency and performances were funded by Wakefield District Council.

The next step was to make best use of the work created. We realised that this was a performance that would work in all kinds of lovely spaces. The initial tour drew funding from Yorkshire Arts and West Yorkshire Grants. As that initial tour proved successful we gained support from further afield; we took the work north of the border with support from the Scottish Arts Council.

What We Learned

  • That taking unusual performances to unlikely places really worked!
  • People were really appreciative of the work... they liked having something different in their park or on their village green.
  • People didn't say "what a lovely piece of physical theatre" they just said "I like that"!

Where Next?

Dreams of Midsummer Madness set the scene for us... we had a couple of lovely summers in parks and we wanted more!

It was sound that–like modern art

Audience Member

Interviewed by YTV's Calendar programme