Writing this from stifling London. The bright lights and loud noises are startling and it is bizarre seeing more people than sheep in a day. The final night at Old Chapel Farm began with me ringing the old church bell to call the merrymakers inside. From here we began to tell our story and lead around 70 people over the site for an evening of poetry, shadow puppetry, instillation and original music amongst other things. There were definitely some hairy moments; particularly being upstaged by a pooing dove in the barn on my part and there was a particular issue with timing in general - apparently 70 people don't move that quickly as a whole. BUT, there were also moments of pure joy and amazement; the full moon rising over the far hillside just as everyone left the chapel after the final chapter was particularly magical.
After the performance itself was over, the evening rolled on in true festive fashion. Kevin pit roasted a lamb which was apparently delicious, the musicians played on into the early hours (Cornelius the mandolin player even got on his bike and cycled home at 5am!) and Gary told some of his traditional stories by firelight. Bella and I fell asleep in a field at one point and I apparently fell off the bench after a bit too much whiskey. There was singing round the campfire, led by the beautiful Orla (who also wrote a song especially for the show) and I ate the best sweet potato of my life (and there have been some good-uns). Bella and I even managed to run a workshop the next morning despite the horrific hang-over beasts that were smashing around inside our heads. We even fitted in a trip to the swimming hole with the other women WWOOFers before the journey home.
I think the real highlight of the whole evening was getting the chance to meet the local community and hear what they had to say about what we'd done and hear their stories in return for ours. There is such a wealth of story there and I cant wait to return to find out more. The story we created was born out of the location and the reasons for celebrating the time of year. I for one have a desire to create a piece of work that finds story from the inside out of the community. This trial residency seems to have lifted some threads which are ready to be teased out and drawn together into a richer, more complex and more human piece of work. All thoughts are to the future now... I think we've started something rather exciting.