Conceived by Louise Ann Wilson and Wils Wilson
Created with Amanda Dalton (writer) and Hugh Nankivell (composer)
Produced by wilson+wilson
Located on the rugged North Yorkshire coastline near the villages of Lythe and Sandsend, Mulgrave was a journey into the heart of Mulgrave Woods and an exploration of the tamed, untamed and untameable within the natural world and the human soul.
Travelling mostly on foot, and sometimes on 6-seater buggies, audiences of 40 were taken on a 4 mile journey, whilst music, stunning visual images, live action, song and installation unfolded around them. Their journey - from the sea, into the woods, and back down to the sea - was like a great wave, and was fundamental to the structure, narrative and visual imagery of Mulgrave.
Mulgrave was in part inspired by the true stories connected with the woods: of Omai - 'the noble savage' - brought back from his Tahitian Island on one of Cook's ships, and later returned there with a bizarre selection of 'gifts' from the British; of Maharajah Duleep Singh, dressing as an English country gent even as Queen Victoria re-cut his koh-i-noor diamond and displayed it as her own, and Humphry Repton with a vision for Mulgrave that would cultivate the wild, untamed and uncontrolled aspects of nature.
Drawing on folk and fairy stories and the mythology of forests, Mulgrave also told the dark tale of The Boy Who Ran From the Sea, who forever runs, like a river, between the dark heart of the woods and the open sea, and finds no rest in either. And his plight was echoed in the stories of all the characters caught between a desire for exploration and the breaking of boundaries, and a longing to find a way back to Eden, or at least a kind of home.
photo: Dominic Ibbotson