Local arts organisation Kinetika is delighted to announce that the Thurrock 100 walking festival will return in 2017 as Thurrock 100 Tales. The walking festival will take place over 7-9th July 2017 in a number of locations around Thurrock, with the exciting addition of specially dramatized stories performed by the the Complete Commedia Company.
Amongst others, there will be tales of Forgers, Shoemakers and what happened at Cash’s Well, all told in the irreverent comedy style of La Commedia dell’Arte with a very Thurrock flavour.
Bernadette Wakeling, of the Complete Commedia Company said:
“Performing stories from Thurrock 100 Tales is the realisation of an aspiration. I‘ve always wanted to make theatre about my home that is relevant, current but most of all, entertaining. Most importantly, it must be brilliant theatre. What we’ve done to the stories of Thurrock 100 Tales, is utterly faithful but totally irreverent. The historians would shudder at the liberties we’ve taken!
Essential to this project is our Thurrock roots. To be able to adapt something, you have to love the source material. It has to inspire you. Thurrock, its characters and its folk lore captured our imaginations. While some of the plots are old and the personalities have gone; the potential for contemporary comment and comedy is still there in the stories.”
Fabulous costumes for the performances are currently being designed by Kinetika and students of South Essex College on the Costume Construction Degree, based at High House Production Park.
The Costume Construction course Leader, Rachel Young, explains what is means for the students to work on a live production: "Collaboration and working with professional companies is key for students to understand the real pressures and the excitement of working with performers, directors and the pressure of making costumes for an outside show. Students have studied the background and interpretation of the Thurrock 100 Tales and their design interpretations will be produced by them using the expertise gained through the first 2 years of their degree studies. Students are excited to create a final product based on the interesting and sometimes odd stories originating from Thurrock and the areas that they study within"
All the stories to be performed are taken from the ‘Thurrock 100 Stories’ book that was published by the project last year. Copies of the book were donated to all local libraries and schools and can be still be purchased from Kinetika for £5+postage. Proceeds of book sales go back to support the project for future years. The stories can also be enjoyed on the interactive Thurrock 100 webpage.
The 2017 walking programme will explore routes around Horndon, Grays, Chafford Gorge, Lakeside, East Tilbury, the Bata site, Coalhouse Fort and Langdon Hills with walk bookings being taken online from June. As with previous years, and due to the generous support of Arts Council England and Thurrock Council, all walks and performances will be free.
Matthew Brown, Regeneration Programme Manager at Thurrock Council said:
“Thurrock Borough Council is proud to support Thurrock 100 Tales, now in its third year. Last year’s project saw over 3,000 people take part in collecting and writing stories, walks in the borough, a publication and a finale performance. Thurrock 100 Tales celebrates the borough’s history and heritage, and once again the 2017 project will feature an event at Coalhouse Fort which plays a key part in Thurrock’s story and heritage.”
Thurrock 100 Stories book is available here