Giant singing, spinning sculptures, dazzling pyrotechnics at nightfall and an unusual celebration of the autumn equinox are amongst the spectacular outdoor performances taking place during Inside Out Dorset.
All Inside Out Dorset events are free, as the biennial festival returns this year to bring extraordinary events to extraordinary places.
Theatre companies, circus performers and artists are creating installations and performances for some of Dorset’s special places, alongside a programme of family-friendly circus and performance.
Portland – Fri 16 Sept
Weymouth – Sat 17 & Sun 18 Sept
Like UFOs landing at nightfall, giant kinetic sound and light sculptures tower above the audience. As they spin, they trace beautiful orbits of light in the sky and sing out a hypnotic siren call.
Gillingham – Sun 18 Sept
A darkly-comic circus adventure for all the family, with eastern European folk music played live. Characters include a man with a fascination for lawnmowers and lettuce, a temperamental Italian aerialist fighting with a Spanish toreador and an acrobat obsessed with staplers.
An installation and performance by pyrotechnic performers And Now:
- Installation: Saturday 17 to Tuesday 20 September from 1pm to 6pm
- Performance: Wednesday 21 September at 7.30pm
On a hilltop near Littlebredy, an installation and a pyrotechnic performance are linked to the Autumn Equinox. Wayfaring takes place in the stunning ceremonial landscape of the South Dorset Ridgeway. Each day, audiences are invited along pathways ancient and modern, to discover the unexpected and to make their own contributions to the growing installation. Wayfaring culminates on the evening of 21 September, the autumn equinox, with a performance including movement, sounds, smells and the transformative power of fire.
Hengistbury Head – Thursday 22 to Sunday 25 September
Eight artists and companies are creating installations and performances along a trail through the nature reserve at Hengistbury Head, exploring the effects of climate change. Visitors will be able to immerse themselves in soundscapes, delve into the secret love life of plants, follow a digital quest and indulge in some cloud gazing. Over the four days, visitors will be able to wander through the landscape of the nature reserve, including areas normally closed to the public, and discover these new artworks one by one.
- The Soaring Sky – a coastal walk through a sung performance of birdsong created by local singers, responding to the calls of migratory and endangered birds on the site.
- Remnant Ecologies is a series of sound installations playing fragments of British bird song, triggered by the wind and sun, and birds themselves.
- Hides – two animated bird hides alone on a cliff to explore themes of migration, refuge and the need of shelter.
- Cloudscapes provides a place to cloud gaze and explore the parallel between the ever-changing sky and humanity’s future.
- Overture is a sound installation outside the former coastguard hut. The building is re-imagined as a lookout post on the frontier of changing weather patterns, a place to scan the horizon for approaching storms.
- Romantic Botanic is an eccentric promenade theatre piece for small groups. Poetry and science are used to delve into the secret love life of plants.
- You’re Getting Warmer is a digital treasure hunt-style adventure for 7 to 11-year-olds and their families. The children are cast as agents for change, hunting down clues, on a mission to save the Marsh Warbler.
- Tree is a thought-provoking dance work set in woodland. Four dancers lead us from the comfort of our gardens to where the wilderness lies and ask, deep down, do we really need nature?
- During Hengistbury Headlines, there will be a chance to take part in the
RSPB’s Big Wild Sleepouts on the nights of 22, 23 and 24 September. There will be campfire cooking, nocturnal adventures and a memorable dawn experience as sounds of the harbour, sea and wind combine with the song of migrant birds.
Up in the Air
Harbourside Park, Poole – Saturday 24 September
A feast of outdoor contemporary circus performance against a dramatic background of sea and sky. Acrobatics, high wires, a boat with its own mobile storm and an illuminating finale.
Co-presented with Lighthouse, Poole and the Borough of Poole
All Inside Out Dorset events are free (there is a charge for the RSPB’s Big Wild Sleepout). For more information and to book, call 01305 260954 or visit www.insideoutdorset.co.uk.