Seek, Find, Speak
A Conjuring Told In Gold
Directed by Collette Murray
Produced by Lucia Cox
Seek, Find, Speak; A Conjuring Told in Gold is a brand-new spoken-word adaptation of The Lost Words by Robert Macfarlane and Jackie Morris.
A forest theatre-trail for all ages, led by a charm of goldfinches, Seek, Find, Speak features stunning 3D installations of Jackie Morris’s golden illustrations and Macfarlane's words. Spells wrapped around trees, words to be discovered in the woodland, and lines of spells perched on branches like starlings. With sound recordings of the spell poems from some of Britain’s famous voices of all ages and accents, Seek, Find, Speak will come alive in the National Forest this summer - touring across the country throughout 2018 and beyond.
I am delighted and honoured to be adapting The Lost Words to an outdoor theatre piece; Robert and Jackie have created something quite, quite bewitching in their Spell Book. In Seek, Find, Speak, we want to enchant people, young and old, to use their own voices to bring these spells to life in Britain's great outdoors.
Premiering at TIMBER Festival, The Lost Words are hidden in the National Forest waiting to be found. To conjure these spells, a charm of Goldfinches will guide the audience participants through a forest theatre trail to Seek, to Find and, importantly, to Speak some lost words of nature. The forest trail will offer many golden clues so all will have to explore the landscape, with ears, eyes and heart. Conjuring these spells with the power of their own voices, the audience will join the Goldfinches in charming these words into our stories and dreams once again - stories to be Told in Gold.
lucia cox (producer):
I'm joining the team as creative producer. I'm a writer, director and producer working in commercial theatre. My theatre company, House of Orphans has produced original work and revivals of classics in and around Manchester, the UK and has toured to New York's Brits off Broadway Festival.
My collaborations with Collette have inspired an interest in children's theatre. Seek, Find, Speak at Timber Festival is a passion project which compliments my interests in folk tales, English heritage, poetry and the natural world. I'm thrilled to be part of Timber, Seek, Find, Speak and the future of this work.
Robert Macfarlane (writer):
At the heart and origin of The Lost Words is a wish to bring nearby nature – the creatures, trees and plants with which we share our landscapes, but that too often slip from our care or attention – back into the lives and stories of Britain’s children.
Collette’s adaptation promises to do exactly this, in a new way - adapting The Lost Words into a spoken-word/oral culture performance, to tour festivals this summer, and then to look to a longer legacy for the adaptation in terms of a show that can be taken into schools. That the premiere of the adaptation is planned for the inaugural new National Forest festival, TIMBER, seems a perfect alignment. She has the fullest support of me and Jackie Morris.
jackie morris (illustrator):
It had come to the attention of some who work in the world of words that certain words were slipping out of common usage. As a result when it came to amend the junior dictionary for a new edition these words were gone. The letter was a request for words culled from the Oxford University Press Junior Dictionary to be returned. These words included bluebell, conker, heron, acorn and perhaps the one that cut the deepest for me, kingfisher. It wasn’t the fault of the dictionary that these words were not included, but the culture in which we live which seems to give more importance to the urban than the wild.
It was a simple response to this request, to sign the letter, that seeded our book in my imagination. How could these words be removed? What did that teach children about the importance of wild places. When you work in the world of words, language, such things have power.
The book is about lost and found, about words, about the wild. This is one piece. It’s a large book. A book to lose yourself in.
Rowan hoban (Wild Rumpus):
When Collette first approached us about a theatrical adaptation of The Lost Words, we felt like stars were aligning over our heads! We are thrilled and honoured to be supporting its development as Wild Rumpus, and premiering the new piece at Timber Festival.
Timber Festival is all about celebrating our relationship with nature and forests, and bringing nature back into family life is a subject close to our hearts here at Wild Rumpus. We believe that when families engage together in the highest quality arts in wild natural landscapes, something quite amazing can happen. The Lost Words is the most beautiful and inspiring evocation of the natural world, and to see families exploring the spells amongst the trees and brambles on the Timber site will be a dream come true.
Seek, Find, Speak will be premiered at an extraordinary new camping festival exploring the transformative impact of forests.
Celebrating woodland culture in all its forms, Timber Festival will be an intoxicating experience where music, art, philosophy and sustainability weave together into an unforgettable, exhilarating weekend.