Sunday, 4 November 2018

a haunted town

The hauntings of Buxton

Buxton Opera House

October 2018

the company*
Two short workshops in Buxton Opera House last week as part of their spooky Hallowe'en season revealed all sorts of previously unknown horrors in the woods and streets of this old town….

mapping a haunted world
Take a walk through the wild woods of Buxton.
Slip behind the blood-dripping trees,
Past the witches’ broomstick ash,
Past the rocks, the ruins, the quarry,
Under the rocks, under the hill,
Lies a cave of bats and sharp stones, spiders and webs
And a cupboard in that cave is full of showroom dummies.
There will be a party there,
A party for bats and beasts and bogles, and you if you want to join in
But be careful!
Do not eat enchanted food, do not sip enchanted drinks,
Some cakes are chocolate with icing spiders but others are poisoned with bat poo

Keep going,
Keep going,
Don’t stop,
Through the spooky woods,
Past the twisted trees
Between the red-berried holly
And its fierce and spiky leaves
Down the long path
Through all the forest’s dangers
To the mysterious house
Where an old man waits
Dead for a thousand years and no-one has cut the grass in his garden in all that time

And beyond the woods
A ruined church waits
With a graveyard
Where the dead do not rest easy in their graves

On Hallowe’en night
When the rain drops red onto the green leaves of trees,
That’s when the bones walk


 A challenge
If you wait under the broomstick tree until those broomsticks are ripe they will fall like conkers or acorns. If you can catch one before it touches the ground when its magic instantly drains away, you could spend the night flying like the witches through the sky.

Our workshops were short and very full of ideas and drawing, talking, scribbling, making and performing so we didn’t get much time for our stars to pose on their sinister black carpet for photos. We sent our young puppeteers and storymakers back out into the wide world with words, stories, puppets and terrible deeds to tell of…

With many thanks to the puppeteers of the Theatrical Phantoms
workshops and to Buxton Opera House for getting it all going in the first place!
* if anyone does not want themselves to be seen in the photos, let me know


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