Gothic and Greek: Tales from Edgar Allan Poe and Icarus: A story of flightBy Jonathan Low
July 20, 2012
Friday, July 20 and Saturday, 21
South Hill Park, Bracknell 01344 484123
What happened to Icarus, who, according to Greek mythology, flew too close to the sun and tumbled into the sea? Was it really his end?
No-one knows, of course, but Icarus’ magical after-story forms one part of Backhand Theatre’s two productions at South Hill Park this weekend.
Icarus: A Story of Flight tells the tale of a master craftsman’s son who attempts to escape from Crete by using the wings his father has made from feathers and wax.
But when he ignores his fathers’ instructions not to fly too close to the sun the wax begins to melt and Icarus finds himself in trouble.
Backhand Theatre, which last year became an associate company of South Hill Park, integrates circus themes into their productions as a way of engaging younger generations to take part in the theatre.
And the company will be adding its unique style to the tale of Icarus with performers being trained in trapeze skills during rehearsals.
“At this year’s Edinburgh Festival I identified Backhand as a company that is imperative for us to develop here at SHP,” said Ron McAllister, CEO of South Hill Park.
“Their combination of skills and ideas and South Hill Park’s production capability will, I believe, make a great combination over the period of their two-year residency here.”
Backhand Theatre’s second project involves one of Britain's best-known actors, Sir Derek Jacobi.
Sir Derek provides the voice of the Raven in a re-imagining of some of the darkest tales from American writer Edgar Allan Poe.
The company will bring Poe’s Gothic tales to life in all their grisly gory thanks to a £10,000 grant from The Arts Council, which is being used to help them produce and create new work.
“It is a massive honour to receive support from Sir Derek Jacobi and South Hill Park,” said Jake Linzey, artistic director of Backhand Theatre.
“It has given us a new base and a place to create exciting and fresh work.
“With the additional support of The Arts Council it has given us more creative freedom to create fantastic work.”
n Tickets for Tales From Edgar Allan Poe and Icarus: A Story of Flight are £11, concessions £10 and members £9.
Both performances start at 8pm.