In March last year, members of Doncaster’s local community were busy in workshops preparing for their opening performances of The Caucasian Chalk Circle at Cast over the August Bank Holiday weekend. However, like most things COVID has put that on hold. Despite the pausing of the production, work has continued over the last year with creative activities delivered remotely, including the creation of the podcast Stories To Get Us Through and online musical in partnership with The Guardian.
This August Bank Holiday weekend, the Doncaster community will perform a new, immersive show at Cast, The Tale of Wild Heather: A Cabaret with audiences invited to share a celebratory feast on Cast’s main stage whilst being engaged in a forgotten Doncastrian myth. Written by Jasmin Mandi-Ghomi, directed by Associate Director, Public Acts James Blakey and designed by Hannah Sibai, the story is co-created by the community company and features performances from local artists.
Having been postponed last year, Cast will be hosting the third Public Acts production in August 2022, The Doncastrian Chalk Circle, a newly adapted version of Bertolt Brecht’s classic play by Chris Bush, directed by Associate Director, Public Acts James Blakey, with music by Ruth Chan and design by Hannah Sibai. Featuring 80 performers from our community partners b:friend, Conversation Club, Edlington Community Organisation (ECO), darts and Cast Young Company, joined by a company of professional actors and musicians and cameo appearances from local performance groups, this new version is an adventurous tale of belonging, full of passion, spectacle and plenty of Yorkshire grit and humour.
Deborah Rees (Director of Cast) said:
“The continuation of these projects shows just how important the arts are to our local community, now more than ever. We are striving to connect with community groups across Doncaster for The Tale of Wild Heather: A Cabaret and look forward to developing these relationships as we work towards an epic production of The DoncastrianChalk Circle next summer. We are delighted that we can create and celebrate together this summer after what has been such a difficult year for so many.”
James Blakey, Associate Director, Public Acts said:
“Our Doncaster community has remained connected, supportive, creative and hopeful during the last 15 months; working and creating together at distance and learning new skills in order to do so. We’re thrilled that this summer we’ll have the opportunity to bring our company together for a celebratory cabaret and storytelling performance on Cast’s main stage and we look forward with renewed energy to our 2022 production of The Doncastrian Chalk Circle.”
More on Stories To Get Us Through:
Public Acts is inspired by Public Works, the Public Theater’s ground-breaking programme of participatory theatre in New York.
Public Acts is supported by Arts Council England’s Strategic Touring Fund, Garfield Weston Foundation, Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, The Mosawi Foundation and Wates Foundation.
Photography by James Mulkein