Prodigal Theatre has been running for 22 years. Like many theatres and performance artists, the impact of the pandemic was significant, and led to the company losing its planned tour.
Having retained funding from Creative Civic Change and with the support of a number of organisations, Prodigal organised events that took culture direct to communities.
The Distanced Dance
Over three days in lockdown, Prodigal’s Ensemble performed in a Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers-esque manner in different locations within Par, St Blazey and Tywardreath. The travelling
choreography could parade, stop to fill an open space, and shrink into a small one; the Ensemble danced around cul-de-sacs, estates, static caravan parks and care home lawns. The piece was seen by thousands of people, watching from their doorsteps, gardens, patios and windows – laughing with each other.
A community segregated by lockdown was unified, and the success of the piece led to it being brought to Bodmin to be seen by another thousand people.
Following the success of The Distanced Dance, it was clear to Prodigal that to build audiences and participation in an area like Par, they would have to take work directly to where the community
already goes. Prodigal planned a festival in Par Track – a large park central to Par, St Blazey and Tywardreath. The free family festival of ‘Par-formance’ and ‘Par-ticipation’ opened with the company’s show Zoo Humans – a piece made with the collaboration of young people from local schools. The day also featuring a Kneehigh Theatre commissioned Random Act of Art; acrobatics, a performance from Hall For Cornwall Youth Dance and 4FS Studios dance company based in St Austell, as well as part-installation, part-performance from Out of the Box.
Images: Steve Tanner