Lost Gardens of Heligan to host WWI centenary event

The Lost Gardens of Heligan will become a stage set in July when the Cornish theatre company, WildWorks, returns to the gardens with an unforgettable performance of love, loss and hope, in their production of ‘100: UnEarth’.

Commissioned by Heligan and 14-18NOW, the UK’s arts programme for the First World War centenary, this promenade performance, which will take place through the Countryfile Magazine’s Garden of the Year, to take audiences on an emotive journey that explores the impact of war, of lost lives not lived as well as the impact on those who survived.

At the beginning of the WWI centenary in 2014, The Lost Gardens of Heligan and the Cornish theatre company, WildWorks, made history when over 5000 people joined in remembering the community’s lost men in a powerful dawn ’til dusk performance. This new performance heralds the end of the centenary period as once again the gardens become a stage. For the final year, the poppies will bloom on West Lawn, Heligan’s field of Remembrance, becoming a backdrop to the soldiers’ return, in the first scene of ‘100: UnEarth.

Heligan’s history and landscape is as integral to the story of war and loss as the performance itself. The Lost Gardens will commemorate their lost gardeners and honour the creative vision of WildWorks artistic director, Bill Mitchell, before his untimely death last year. Emma Hogg, executive director of WildWorks comments: “Bill was convinced that as we started the war commemoration at Heligan it was only right that we finish the story there too. His vision for the piece was very clear; this is a story with hope at its heart“.

George Elworthy, managing director The Lost Gardens of Heligan, points out that Heligan is an anagram of healing and that since restoration of the gardens began, visitors have been drawn to them as a place of remembrance, reflection and rebirth through nature: “This year, WildWorks embarks upon our most ambitious project to date, as we remember the lives lost and the impact of war. Audiences will be walking through the gardens following the performance for about a mile and a half. It’s an incredibly special way to experience this year’s ‘Garden of the Year’, whilst watching an incredible piece of landscape theatre, whose message runs through the gardens very core.” he said.

Performances will run from 3rd to 22nd July, 2018. Tickets are available from: www.hallforcornwall.co.uk

Picture credits © Lost Gardens of Heligan and WildWorks