“Our aim is make theatre for the present with the Angels and Demons of the past” Carlo Boso
Creating all age group touring shows specifically for rural community venues should be simple enough for a professional: create a good show, any good show and include in it the usual ingredients to make it so. However, creating a show with the property of being able to make each performance seem venue specific (treating each audience as special), whilst trying to add deeper resonances in terms of place, culture, theme and way of life, as well as keeping the performance at least theoretically universal (and hence audience friendly in a big way) we ran into the problem of choice. What elements from folk drama, music, local lore and geography are suitable show ingredients that do not patronise and are good enough to get one invited back?
The frames started to include models of theatre from the past, especially Greek Comedy and the Commedia dell’arte. Add to this Mummer’s plays; Mystery plays; Local Saints’ Plays; local legends; Faery Stories; Historical, quasi-historical and mythical figures; Early Christian and Pre-Christian ceremonies. The list could go on, but our search’s parameters were not archaeological, but contemporary. This paper is concerned with the search for dramatically entertaining folk memes that can be used both to connect and to entertain: To bring to our audience “the merrie Englande that never was”.