Aerial theatre specialists fly in
An acclaimed theatre company which makes it appear as if performers are flying through the air have chosen Warrington as a rehearsal space for their new production.
Wired Aerial Theatre aims to reinvent perceptions of performing arts with bungee-powered dance techniques and even flyable set-pieces. Me vs Me is the Arts Council England-funded group’s first production since the pandemic and their first project developed outside of Liverpool.
Thanks to a relationship with Culture Warrington, the performers are now creating the new work in the main hall of the Grade II-listed Parr’s Bank in Winwick Street over four weeks.
Tayla Dickinson, Arts Assistant for Wired, said: “The main hall draws together grand touchstones of Edwardian architecture – adorned with beautiful artwork, sculptures above doorways, grand oak doors, terracotta marble pillars with golden foundations, a huge glistening chandelier taking up the centre of the room, and stained-glass windows on the back wall.
“It is not only a beautiful place to work but allows the height and space necessary to set up the specially designed truss.”
The piece will draw on themes of mental health and well-being and the internal conflicts we all face.
It is being presented by artistic director Wendy Hesketh-Ogilvie and celebrated choreographer Henri Oguike who hope it will particularly resonate with young people.
Wendy said: “This piece has been developing on our computers and at Zoom meetings for well over a year now. The feeling of physically working on it, with a skilled creative team, with the support from our partners and in such a beautiful venue brings such a huge sense of happiness to me.
“With each development I realise more and more the importance of this piece and what it can offer young people. At a time when mental health understanding and well-being is so necessary, Wired are providing a cultural response to this and will also be taking it into schools.
“We are currently breathing life into our ideas. I just can’t wait to present it and to use the initial performances to connect with others.”
Leah Biddle, Cultural Manager at Culture Warrington, added: “It’s been wonderful to have Wired Aerial Theatre based in Warrington recently. It’s not every day that an internationally acclaimed company and such a prestigious choreographer such as Henri Oguike comes to town.
“Our links with Wired reaffirms Culture Warrington’s ambition to further develop relationships with other cultural organisations in support of our new vision for the Pyramid Arts Centre and its planned redevelopment.
“Wired have creatively tackled the topic of mental health through the use bungee and dance performance. I have no doubt that this piece will connect positivity with young people and I look forward to working with them in the future.”