Moray Wildlife Watch scripted and performed an outdoor play – bringing some famous mice to life.
With funding from People’s Postcode Lottery and Forestry Commission Scotland, the group were able to work with outdoor drama experts the Walking Theatre Company to script and produce a “play in a day”.
The group – one of 28 Wildlife Watch groups supported by the Scottish Wildlife Trust – were involved in every aspect of the play, coming up with characters such as David and Davina Rattenburgh, receiving drama training and finally performing the play to an invited audience of 50 in the grounds of Gordon Castle.
The play, which was based on the popular children’s book series Brambly Hedge by Jill Barklem, is based on the lives of a family of mice living in a hedgerow.
It was performed by the children and professional actors from the walking theatre company. The actors and audience moved around the grounds performing each act in a different location.
Artistic Director and Playwright, Sadie Dixon-Spain, said: “When I was commissioned to create a play version of Jill Barklem’s wonderful 'Brambly Hedge' stories I was thrilled. For me, the opportunity to work with such inspiring material and such an inspiring group as the Moray Wildlife Watch Group made for an exciting and unusual project.
“I can’t find the words to fully express the feeling of being part of this event, to connect with so many people in a true fusion of arts and the environment and to feel the buzz that we all created for actors and audience alike. Thank you Moray Wildlife Watch Group – what vision you have!”
Vice Chairman of the Scottish Wildlife Trust, Patric Baird, said: “What a wonderful event. Not only did they enthral and involve the children (sorry, mice!) but they did the same to the adults. There could have been no better way to celebrate my first Wildlife Watch event as a Vice Chairman.”
The play was followed by a picnic with foraged foods prepared on site by Mrs Crusty Bread.
The Moray Wildlife Watch Group – voted one of the best in the UK by The Wildlife Trusts – has plans to develop workshops based on their experience, and are thrilled to have been able to engage the children with their local environment in such an innovative and enjoyable way.