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Eventide by Mike Shepherd

The global pandemic has knocked the theatre industry sideways and continues to challenge us all in a variety of ways, on a number of different levels. For us, it’s been one thing to manoeuvre through these strange times, quite another to make plans for the future. But plan we have.

We tell stories in extraordinary ways. We exist to make theatre, to reflect the world, to push boundaries, to celebrate humanity. We exist to surprise, to collaborate, to risk, to welcome, to build, to find meaning, to give people a good night out and to show them something they’ve never seen before. To be unable to do what we do has forced us to question our purpose over the lockdown. We pondered our existence and looked at what made us tick. Dare I say it, we may have accentuated some positives!

Image courtesy of Steve Tanner

As an agile touring theatre company with four decades of experience on the international stage from the Minack to Minneapolis, it’s clear to us Kneehigh is ideally placed to create socially distanced event and performance both outdoors and indoors.

Right now, we’re at our creative space, the Barns, on the south Cornish cliffs. The task is to refuel our artistic spirit and reconnect with the essentials. We’re exploring the folktales of Calvino, wildly entertaining stories set in a world where people desperately try to stave hunger, procreate and avoid death! The fundamentals of life! These stories are daft, moving, hilarious and very much for now. We’ll share them with you soon. We’re focussing on building the teams and the infrastructure so we can deliver on our vision of a connected world alive with spontaneity, surprise, music, empathy, humour, and hope.

In December, Kneehigh hope to open the doors to the Barns, with an invitation to celebrate forty years of history with fireside stories, music, photography, festive refreshment, bite-sized performances and, of course, ample surprises. These events will straddle the years in all ways, bidding good riddance to this one and welcoming a more hope-filled twelve months with meaning, wonder, warmth, wit and mulled wine.

In 2021 we’re planning an extended festival season of food, event and performance in our Asylum in Cornwall. We’re looking forward to welcoming audiences back and to doing what we’ve always done: creating event, reaching out to the non-theatregoing community, and celebrating our precious time on this planet.

Find out more about what Kneehigh is up to on Instagram @WeAreKneehigh, or by visiting the website.


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