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  • The Tale

    A Journey of discovery across Torbay



    Please note the Deaf Friendly tour is on 9 September, not 23 September as in this video.

    The Tale is coming to Torbay, Devon.

    The Tale will guide you on a journey of discovery from the streets of Torquay, through hidden coves and historic harbours, to the quarry of Berry Head.

    Along the way, you’ll encounter artworks and performances by artists of international acclaim made especially for Torbay. Inspired by the ideas of writer Philip Hoare, whose boyhood experiences of Torbay shaped his future,

    The Tale will take place over three long weekends in September: 8-10 Sept, 15-17 Sept, 22-24 Sept 2017.

    A ticket to The Tale opens up a journey like no other. As the journey begins, you’ll discover where The Tale will take you. You just need to decide how you’d like to experience it: in a day or two days. Tickets start at £15.00. Children and carers for disabled people go free. 

    A Meteor ticket means you do The Tale in one day. A Wanderer ticket takes it at a more leisurely pace over two days. This ticket is good for families.

    A Diver ticket is The Tale with added extras. Do The Tale over two days plus add in artist talks, sea swims or a masterclass.

    The Tale is an adventure for explorers of all ages. We hope to welcome you to The Tale in September.


    The Tale unfolds across the stunning landscape of Torbay, South Devon this September.

    A unique kind of arts trail, The Tale guides you on a journey of discovery around the coast of Torbay – from the streets of Torquay, through hidden coves & historic harbours of Brixham, to the quarry of Berry Head Nature Reserve.

    Along the way you’ll encounter performances & installations from internationally acclaimed artists, created especially for Torbay.

    ‘Pull back the curtain on an art deco cinema, closed to the public for 25 years (Britt Hatzius). Immerse yourself in a 360-degree sound installation deep in a quarry, inspired by the sounds of the ocean (BBC sound artist Chris Watson). End your Tale at sunset, looking out upon a dance performance where the land meets the sea.’

    Families welcome. Under 16s go free!



    The Tale begins in Torquay (Torquay Museum) and ends in Brixham. Exact locations of artworks & performances will be revealed at the start of your journey.

    Experience The Tale  across either one full day (Meteor Ticket) or at a more leisurely pace across two days (Wanderer Ticket) in September. Pick your weekend, your start date & time when booking.

    Weekend One: Fri 8 – Sun 10 September
    Weekend Two: Fri 15 – Sun 17 September
    Weekend Three: Fri 22 – Sun 24 September

    A unique collaboration between people & place, The Tale is inspired by the ideas of award-winning writer Philip Hoare, whose boyhood experiences of Torbay shaped his future.

    Ticket information

    METEOR ONE-DAY TICKET (£22.50/£17.50/Under 16s Free)

    Experience The Tale in a day. Start in the morning at Torquay Museum & finish in Brixham at 7pm.

    Meteor Tickets include all travel between locations, including ferries, & a return bus from Brixham to Torquay Museum (via Paignton & Torquay Train Stations).


    WANDERER TWO-DAY TICKET (£20.00/£15.00/Under 16s Free)

    Complete The Tale at a more leisurely pace. Start after lunch on a Friday or Saturday at Torquay Museum & finish the next day in Brixham at 7pm.

    Wanderers make their own way between the sites (travel not included) however we will give you full details of public transport & car parks when you arrive at the Museum.

    Wanderer tickets are recommended for families.

    The Tale is a journey with a fair amount of walking. It will take place come rain or shine, so be prepared.

    For more advice about the journey & what to bring, download our FAQs


    We have a programme of extra events including artist masterclasses, wild swims, and family workshops. For more information and booking, click the ‘Events’ tab, or scroll down to the events section of this website.

    Philip Hoare

    Philip Hoare is the writer behind The Tale. His text about Torbay provides the inspiration for all the artists and your journey on The Tale. You can read this chapter in Philip’s new book RISINGTIDEFALLINGSTAR available from all good bookshops.

    Philip’s previous books include biographies of Noel Coward, the historical studies, Wilde’s Last Stand Spike Island & England’s Lost Eden. His book Leviathan or, The Whale won the 2009 BBC Samuel Johnson Prize for non-fiction. His last book, The Sea Inside, was published in 2013.

    An experienced broadcaster, curator and filmmaker, Philip wrote & presented the BBC Arena film The Hunt for Moby-Dick, & directed three films for BBC’s Whale Night. He is Professor of Creative Writing at the University of Southampton, & co-curator of the Moby-Dick Big Read.

    I have been coming here since before I was born. The red and green and blue must have registered amniotically on the watery me in my little ocean. I can’t remember the future or forget the past, only what remains: those childhood visits, the impossible glamour, the yearning aspirations. The bay opening up like the theatre of my dreams, desires strung out and suspended, as if you could always come back to them before they disappear. Dark caverns, bright lights, cold water; being lost and found in such a place, then finding it again. Always changing, always staying the same; and always the sea, fearful and fantastical:
    The thrill of it all.

    Philip Hoare, 2017

    Image: Andrew Sutton


    All the artworks & performances in The Tale have been created for locations across Torbay inspired by Philip Hoare. Exact locations & details of the works are kept under wraps until you start the journey. Here are just a few of the participating artists in The Tale.

    Claire Cunningham

    Claire Cunningham is a performer based in Glasgow. One of the UK’s most acclaimed and internationally renowned disabled artists, Cunningham’s work is rooted in the study and use/misuse of crutches, through which she engages physically with the world, exploring the potential of her own body and movement and challenging conventions and expectations of dance.

    Claire’s involvement in The Tale is supported by the Jerwood Charitable Foundation.

    Claire on Torbay

    It’s wonderful to return to Torbay, this time as a grown up! I came here when I was 12, or maybe 13, with my parents on holiday, and have the obligatory photo of myself and my dad in the stocks at Cockington! It’s an incredibly beautiful part of the country, and I am grateful for the chance to spend time here, meeting local people and gain even a brief insight into what it means to actually live here.

    Photo by Colin Hattersley

    one step at a time like this

    one step at a time like this are an Australian group who create performances that allow audience to see places, architecture and others anew. Their works are mobile, immersive and place-responsive experiences, often with a digital media component.

    They have been commissioned to create works for London 2012 Olympic Cultural Festival, Arts Centre Melbourne, Chicago Shakespeare Theater, Arts House, Dublin Theatre Festival & City of Melbourne. Their work has received numerous awards and been the subject of award-winning documentaries in the US.

    one step at a time like this have been working with Play Torbay and their involvement in The Tale is supported by the Australia Council.

    Photo: Forever Young, a teenage adventure for grown ups, Clonmel Junction Festival

    Chris Watson

    Chris Watson is one of the world’s leading recorders of wildlife and natural phenomena. The unearthly groaning of ice in an Icelandic glacier is an example of, in Watson’s words, putting a microphone where you can’t put your ears. He was born in Sheffield and in 1971 he was a founding member of the influential Sheffield-based experimental music group Cabaret Voltaire. His sound recording career began in 1981 when he joined Tyne Tees Television. Since then he has developed a particular and passionate interest in recording the wildlife sounds of animals, habitats and atmospheres from around the world. As a freelance recordist for film, TV and Radio, Chris Watson specialises in natural history and documentary location sound together with track assembly and sound design in post production.

    Chris has been working with Sound Communities in Torbay.

    Photo by Kate Humble

    Ingri Fiksdal

    Ingri Midgard Fiksdal works as a choreographer and is currently a research fellow at The Oslo National Academy of the Arts (Norwegian Artistic Research Programme) whose work has toured globally.

    As an artist, Ingri places equal emphasis on sound, light, choreography, costume and set-design within a performance. The audience is always integral to her performances.

    Ingri’s involvement in The Tale is supported by the Norwegian Arts Council.

    Ingri on Torbay

    When first invited to be part of The Tale, my first reference to the area was my memory of Norwegian teenagers going to Torquay for language school. They stayed with local families, ate prawn crisps for lunch, and spent the evenings partying! Working on The Tale, the picture of Torbay is expanding every day. I’m loving the opportunity to hear of the changes going on.

    Jonathan Anderson

    Jonathan Anderson is a Swansea-based artist who has been working in South Wales since graduating from Swansea Metropolitan University in 2007. Past group shows have included Crafted at Oriel Myrddin, Carmarthen, 2009, Ground, Wrexham Arts Centre 2009, and To the Buddha: Veils and Voids at St Davids Hall, Cardiff, 2010. His sculptures often employ materials such as sand, soil, water, coal, which Anderson describes as a ‘a dark, mysterious, almost mythical material’.

    Ellen Gallagher

    Ellen Gallagher is an American artist. Her work has been shown in numerous solo and group exhibitions and is held in the permanent collections of many major museums. Her media include painting, works on paper, film and video. Some of her pieces refer to issues of race, and may combine formality with racial stereotypes.

    Ellen currently lives and works in New York and Rotterdam, the Netherlands.

    Photo: Ellen and Philip Hoare at Berry Head, 2016.

    Britt Hatzius

    Britt Hatzius (UK/DE) works in performance, sound, film and video. In her practice she often reflects on the conceptual, technical or social context of the moving image, and its relationship to language, interpretation and the potential for discrepancies and (mis-) communication. Her work has been shown internationally at performance and media arts festivals, institutions and galleries. Recent collaborations include cinematic installation Micro Events (with Tom Kok), interactive performance This is Not My Voice Speaking and site-specific installation As Never Before, As Never Again (with Ant Hampton), and her currently touring live performance Blind Cinema.

    Britt on Torbay

    For The Tale, Britt is collaborating with local primary school students from Curledge Street Academy in Paignton aged between nine and eleven, who, in many ways, are in the midst of discovering the potential, but also limits of language, and the struggle of expressing thoughts through words.

    Marc Rees

    A born and living Welshman, Marc Rees is an artist who works across different media with an established track record of creating groundbreaking, provocative and risk-taking site-specific projects. He often describes his role as a contemporary archaeologist – exhuming a site’s multilayered history and unearthing fossil fragments of fact, or fiction. Examining these findings in detail, he transforms them in collaboration with artists, performers or the community to deduce, interpret and re-imagine.

    Marc on Torbay

    Torbay has provided a fantastical terrain to explore and excavate and I’ve unearthed wonderful, bizarre and extraordinary stories to weave into The Tale.

    Photo: Warren Orchard

    Travel and accommodation

    The Tale starts at Torquay Museum, 529 Babbacombe Road, Torquay, Devon, TQ1 1HG.

    BY TRAIN: Trains arrive at Torquay Railway Station every half hour from Exeter St Davids & Totnes. Hourly trains to & from London Paddington, Plymouth & Bristol Temple Meads. It’s a 25 minute walk from Torquay station to the museum. If you’re experiencing The Tale in one day, you will need to get an early train, or stay in Torbay the night before. There is no cashpoint at Torquay Station.

    For Meteors, a free coach runs from Brixham at the end of The Tale and will arrive at Paignton Station by 7.45 pm daily, in time to catch the last trains north, changing at Newton Abbot. National Rail

    BY CAR: We encourage you to enjoy The Tale via public transport, but understand some people prefer to use a car. Limited on-street car parking is available opposite Torquay Museum. We would advise parking in the Harbour Car Park in Torquay. We will provide a guide & information on car parks for all locations on arrival at the museum.

    BY BUS: regular buses run from Exeter, Plymouth, Totnes, Dartmouth & Bristol. A Megabus goes once a day from London Victoria.

    Use this handy regional website to plan your journey: Travel Devon


    There are plenty of great places to stay in Torbay. We would advise booking as early as possible & staying in either Torquay or in Brixham if you are taking in The Tale over two days. Check out the English Riviera website for full details of a range of hotels, guesthouses, and self-catering options. 

    For further information, download our FAQs here.



    The Tale journey includes old buildings & hard-to-reach places. We want as many people as possible to discover & explore the artworks & performances. We regret not every site is fully accessible to everyone. In particular people who use wheelchairs or with mobility impairment may find some places difficult or impossible to access. However we are working hard to make The Tale as accessible as we can to a wide range of people.



    We are working with the Torquay Deaf Community to create an assisted day for Deaf people.

    Saturday 9 September, 9:30am , Meteor (one-day) Ticket.

    TO BOOK: Please select the ‘tickets’ section from the website menu.  Select the ticket type (Meteor), the weekend (Friday 8th – Sunday 10th September), the performance date & time (Sat 9 Sep – 9.30) and type the code OPEN in the Enter Promotional Code box. All tickets for this day are at the concessionary rate.

    There is a BSL version of The Tale introductory information here.



    We are organising a second assisted day to provide additional access support & to help you navigate The Tale.

    Saturday 23 September, 1.30 pm, Wanderer (two-day) Ticket

    TO BOOK: Please email or call 0117 930 4282 in office hours.



    Please contact us to discuss your access requirements. Email or call 0117 930 4282 in office hours.

    Extra Events

    Enrich your experience of The Tale by going behind-the-scenes or taking in the delights Torbay has to offer.

    Dawn Swims with Philip Hoare
    6.30am every Saturday and Sunday mornings of The Tale. A relaxed dip in the sea to greet the sun!
    Meet outside Meadfoot Beach Café, Meadfoot Sea Rd, Torquay TQ1 2LQ
    Free. No need to book. Swimmers swim at their own risk. Children welcome. Under 16s to be accompanied by an adult. Please bring warm up clothes.

    Family workshop with Philip Hoare
    What Does A Whale Do?  We dive into the world of whales and dolphins.

    Saturday 16th September 3.30pm-4.30pm
    Saturday 23rd September 3.30pm-4.30pm
    Torquay Museum, 529 Babbacombe Rd, Torquay TQ1 1HG
    Free, but booking essential. BOOK NOW.

    Artists’ talk
    Chris Watson in conversation with Ellen Gallagher, chaired by Philip Hoare
    Saturday 9th September 3.00pm – 4.30pm
    The Guardhouse Café, Berry Head Nature Reserve, Brixham TQ5 9AW
    Free, but booking essential. BOOK NOW.

    Masterclasses and professional workshops

    Masterclasses with Claire Cunningham
    Permission to speak… Thursday 14th September 2-5pm
    For professional dance artists & those with established dance or physical practice.
    Claire will explore techniques that inform her own practice – building methods of communication, trust, layers of perception. Permission to speak is focused on process, rather than results or product.

    Movement exploration workshop – Thursday 21st September 2-5pm
    For dancers aged 16+ with some experience of movement.
    Claire looks at methods and concepts that underpin her performative and choreographic practice, focussing on aspects of awareness/presence, perception and individuality.

    Both masterclasses are accessible to disabled and non-disabled participants. Please let us know of any access requirements in advance – email
    £10 (£8 concessions). Capacity is strictly limited so booking early is strongly advised. Location to be advised on booking. BOOK NOW.

    Masterclass with one step at a time like this
    Thursday 21st September 10 – 5pm
    Explore Torquay like never before and find out how one step at a time like this develop a new performance. You’ll be introduced to techniques used by the performance company, explore the backstreets and beaches of Torquay and develop your own short walking performance. For educators, students, artists, performers and anyone interested in sharing new ways of exploring and understanding urban and natural environments. BOOK NOW.
    £20 (£15 conc). Refreshments provided. Bring your own lunch.
    Capacity limited so early booking advised.
    Location: Unit 28, First Floor, Fleet Walk Shopping Centre, Fleet Street, Torquay, TQ2 5EB

    Listening to life underwater in Brixham with Chris Watson.
    Sunday 10 September 1-3pm
    Join one of the world’s foremost natural history sound recordists for an unforgettable walk. Along the way Chris will use hydrophones and speakers to tune into the ebb and flow of the tides and marine life under the surface and try to interpret these sounds for everyone and comment on how he uses these sounds to make his installations. The walk will start at Brixham Quay and finish at Berry Head quarry with Chris’s sound installation.  Along the way the group will stop and listen to the sounds at places such as Shoalstone and Breakwater Beach. Book now.

    International Agatha Christie Festival
    13th – 17th September
    Our friends at the IACF are offering a brilliant array of events which you can combine with a visit to The Tale. Philip Hoare is speaking about Torbay’s stories of writers, poets and the sea. Literally Drowning is on Thursday 14th September at 9pm.  For more info, visit

    Get Involved

    We have been lucky to work with many people across Torbay for the last two years to make The Tale happen. For example, young people from Play Torbay are devising a new performance with one step at a time like this and others, supported by Sound Communities, have been making field recordings for Chris Watson’s new sound installation.

    There are some great ways to get involved in the final stages of the making of The Tale.

    Attend a masterclass
    Claire Cunningham and one step a time like this – will be running masterclass sessions, aimed at students, arts professionals and others who want to learn more about how these artists are working on the project. Book your masterclass through the Events page.

    Become a trained host
    We’re also looking for volunteers to help steward the event as our Tale hosts. You’ll get full training and the chance to meet and work with artists and to meet and greet new visitors to Torbay. If you are interested in joining our team of hosts. Register your interest below.

    Be part of a new performance
    We have a few places left for young people age 14-25 to help devise, perform and work ‘back stage’ in a new performance by One Step At A Time Like This, made for Torquay. Devisers will need to be free in August for about 12 days, performers will need to be available for a few days in August and some or all of The Tale dates in September. You can sign up to do both roles and also to work out of the spotlight, ‘behind the scenes’. A great way to meet artists and performers and see how a new performance comes together. Register your interest below.

    Be part of our technical team
    A few aspects of The Tale need people to help with technical. You’ll get an insight into sound installations and binaural sound. You might be a student, recent graduate or even have more experience.

    Work with us as a digital reporter
    The Space, an organisation which helps cultural organisations to build digital skills to reach more people using digital media, are helping us to tell the story of The Tale to remote online audiences. If you’d be interested in a bursary to become part of our digital team of reporters, email your interest to

    Attend a masterclass
    Claire Cunningham and one step a time like this – will be running masterclass sessions, aimed at students, arts professionals and others who want to learn more about how these artists are working on the project. Book your masterclass through the Events page.


    Schools across Torbay are using The Tale as a great opportunity to see new art, up close, in unusual places. Themes of the sea, journeys & local environment fit well with many curriculum areas.

    We’re running two Schools Day visits on Thur 7 & Thur 14 September. These are special days, just for schools. We’ll have extra people on hand to run workshops & help you get the most out of your visit. There is a charge of £5-8 per child to cover costs. Many schools have signed up already, but if you would like to join in, sign up here. 

    Sign up for Schools Day

    • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

    The School of Listening is a new free online resource for Torbay schools. It provides all a school needs to run an unusual daily listening experience in the classroom. 30 one-minute sound clips, background information & workshop ideas. The Tale artists have donated sound ideas & it’s been devised with Torbay’s Sound Communities project. The School of Listening launches in July, click here to find out more.

    Image credit: Kate Rudman, Sound Communities


    • Claire Cunningham on crutches, the coast and childhood memories of Torbay

      Claire Cunningham is a performer and creator of multi-disciplinary performance based in Glasgow. One of the UK’s most acclaimed and internationally renowned disabled artists, Claire’s performance explores the use or misuse of crutches.

      Claire is devising a new piece for The Tale in September. BOOK TICKETS HERE. 


      On memories of Torbay

      I came to Torbay as a child. Once. I think I was probably about 11 or 12 years old. I’m not sure exactly but the family photos imply it was about that time. The time of a very bad perm and pink rimmed spectacles. I was never cool…

      My memories of Torbay are mostly of sitting on beaches beside my parents both dozing on deckchairs. And I just sat, watching mostly. Watching everyone. Everything around me. People. Sea. Rocks. Stones. Sky. Birds. Seal! Was that a seal…?!

      And watching everyone else watching…in a way I can see it was useful training for the artist I became.

      That was probably quite close to when I started to use crutches, but you wouldn’t know. There is no evidence. My family weren’t allowed to take photos of me on my crutches. I didn’t want there to be a record. I didn’t want them full stop. I believed, or wanted to believe, I would only need them for 6 months, a year…maybe a year or two. Any photos of me that exist as a child or teenager I’m sitting down (for example, in the stocks at Cockington!), or they’re just head and shoulder shots.


      Returning to Torbay

      Returning to Torbay this year…I am forty. I’m still not cool… but I’ve got rid of the perm and got better specs now at least. This place, Philip’s writing- its own roots in childhood holidays here- inevitably has brought me sifting back through a web of nostalgia, trawling memories like the fishing boats endlessly coming and going.

      And I find myself here now, still with my crutches, but a world apart. In love with them. These beautiful objects. Love for all the places they have taken me in the intervening years, the way they literally lift me up to moments of held, soft flight, the way they have changed the way I look at the world, what I notice around me – made me an expert observer of the ground (you have to always look where you put crutches). 

      And to see how wonderful that is, to notice the beauty and detail sometimes right there at my feet (all four of them)…that rich vistas are not always to be found by looking up, like a rock pool sometimes there are hidden stories below us, that only reveal when we have to slow down, or stop to rest.  

      I return now to Torbay as the artist who plays now in a way the child couldn’t bring herself to. I was a child in an old body, who has grown younger in many ways, and will grow old again but with insider knowledge of what to expect. And I think of how my crutches have shaped me as much as my parents. Shaped my flesh, my soul, my morals, my sense of where, when and if I belong.


      On Philip Hoare’s text

      Philip’s story and this place speak to me of the flow between things. Of the blurring of the edges of places, and people, and things. Of the way our view of the same thing can change so utterly when we adjust our viewpoint.   Of how we frame things and but also how do we to stop and notice the frame itself that we have created or imagined? How do we decide that something is natural? Or unnatural? Or someone….?

      Those things are not clear. Should not be clear.  Like a shoreline, where the watermark and the wrack line is always subtly shifting.  We think we know where we can stand and the wave won’t reach us…but sometimes we are wrong.  

      Are my crutches unnatural? Artificial? Am I “unnatural”? Yet they have become part of my body. Organic. I feel through them…they connect me to the world. They hold up my chalky bones…yet at the same time they are the very bones I build on.  


      On her new performance for The Tale

      So here I will build. On crutches. Something. Something for you. For me. Something alive or dead. A memorial or a blueprint. Natural or unnatural. A beginning or an end. Or something in between. Depends how you look at it.

      You can come and take a photo if you like…


      As part of The Tale, Claire is running a masterclass aimed at disabled and non-disabled professional dancers. BOOK HERE

      The Tale is a unique arts trail across Torquay, Paignton and Brixham happening for three long weekends in September. 

      Find out more and book tickets at Under 16s go free! 

    • Philip Hoare and Ellen Gallagher next to a sperm whale skeleton in Rotterdam. 

      Philip Hoare and Ellen Gallagher next to a sperm whale skeleton in Rotterdam. 

    • Appearing / Disappearing  Photography by Ellen Gallagher. 

      Appearing / Disappearing 

      Photography by Ellen Gallagher. 

    • The English Riviera.

      The English Riviera.

    • "

      But then I came to the chapter “Somethingamazing” where I soaked up the dazzle of ideas and associations. In the space of 40 pages Hoare takes us from Thoreau’s Walden Pond to Stephen Tennant on his deathbed via Daedelus, Nic Roeg’s film The Man Who Fell to Earth (and Walter Tevis’s novel that inspired it), Wolff’s Orlando, the first recording of whale song in the 1950s, Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey, the petrochemical whiteness of the future as envisaged by the 1960s, Shakespeare’s The Tempest, Terence Stamp playing Billy Budd, Gatsby of course and Hoare’s first own visit to a nightclub. Wave after wave crashing around and over me. And I remember being that boy I was, the boy who stood in the waves at the top of Ireland, shocked and exhilarated.

      What is this? An immersion. A homecoming. I hold my breath and go under again.


      Beautiful review of RISINGTIDEFALLINGSTAR

    • Philip Hoare searches through Torquay Museum archive. 

      Philip Hoare searches through Torquay Museum archive. 

    • Elizabeth Barrett Browning stayed at Beacon Terrace.

      Elizabeth Barrett Browning stayed at Beacon Terrace.

    • David Bowie with an anchor painted on his face from the John, I’m Only Dancing music video. RISINGTIDEFALLINGSTAR ends with a...

      David Bowie with an anchor painted on his face from the John, I’m Only Dancing music video. RISINGTIDEFALLINGSTAR ends with a similar photograph which Mick Ronson took. 

    • Ingri Midgard Fiksdal, choreographer: “It will involve sequins and zombies and a great view”

      Ingri is an award-winning choreographer, based in Oslo. Her work focuses on creating various forms of immersion for the audience.

      Previous performances include Night Tripper (2012), a nighttime trail in the woods, ritual and social event co-produced by In Between Time; STATE (2016), part dance performance and part live concert; and Shadows of Tomorrow (2016), a durational performance with 20 performers.

      Ingri’s work is visually sumptuous, underpinned by the belief that there should be an equal emphasis on sound, light, choreography, costume and set-design. 


      STATE, 2016

      For the first of our artist blogs, we interviewed Ingri about her commission for The Tale. 

      You’ve recently been rehearsing in Torbay, what stage are you at with your brand new piece for The Tale? 

      We were just working on site for a week, which was pretty informative in regards to how to develop the work and how it will work at the site. We will continue this process of devising in Oslo before returning to Brixham in September.

      How has it been creating work specifically for The English Riviera? 

      I have found that there is something interesting about an area pretending to be and drawing inspiration from something else – (the Riviera), and this relationship, this pretence, is something I have drawn inspiration from.


      Shades of Tomorrow (2016)

      The Tale is based on Philip Hoare’s new book RISINGTIDEFALLINGSTAR. Are there any elements from his book that have particularly resonated with you? 

      I have found Philip’s text particularly inspiring with his descriptions of the impossible glamour of Torbay and the connected nostalgia. Another departure point is his “potential ghosts of long-dead lives” and what that might entail - both visually and in performance.

      Your choreography places an emphasis on creating an immersive experience for the audience. In The Tale, your work is being performed in a non-theatrical space, how do you go about creating immersion in these sites?

      I have worked in these spaces before. In 2012, I made a piece in collaboration with Signe Becker and Ingvild Langgård, Night Tripper, which was performed in the forest in a number of countries. 


      Night Tripper performed at IBT 2013

      I think with non-theatrical spaces one has to “collaborate” with the landscape or view in order for immersion to occur; to find the right balance between the surroundings “as they are” and what we choose to add to them in terms of choreography, performers, costume and music.

      Can you describe your piece in one sentence?

      It will involve sequins and zombies and a great view.

      Find out more about Ingri’s work here

      Ingri’s involvement in The Tale is supported by the Norwegian Arts Council.

    • One of the most moving chapters is about David Bowie, who must have died as the book was being written. Hoare writes in a previous title, Spike Island: The Memory of a Military Hospital, about the way Bowie’s music helped him as a young man to get over the death of his brother, while there are more and less oblique references to The Man Who Fell to Earth in both Leviathan and The Sea Inside. In RisingTideFallingStar, whose title and cover typography echo Bowie’s 1970s compilation ChangesOneBowie, the singer features more prominently, although the pain of his death is so sharp that Hoare can’t seem to bear to use his name. Bowie is “a corrupt, tinselled Nijinsky”, “another Ariel” and most often, “the star”. The passage ends with a moment of beautiful sadness, when Hoare hears Bowie’s voice inadvertently on the radio in the kitchen. “As I walked past, it sounded so strange and familiar, so confiding that for a moment I thought I was listening to myself.”

    • Philip Hoare’s new book, RISINGTIDEFALLINGSTAR, inspires The Tale. Out 13th July. 

      Philip Hoare’s new book, RISINGTIDEFALLINGSTAR, inspires The Tale. Out 13th July. 

    • Listen to Philip Hoare’s interview on the Today programme about RISINGTIDEFALLINGSTAR, The Tale and fear of the sea. His interview starts 5 minutes from the end. 

    • Philip Hoare celebrates the launch of The Tale in Torbay; film by Marc Rees.

    • The Alphington Ponies appear in Torquay 100 years on. 

      The Alphington Ponies appear in Torquay 100 years on. 

    • Moodboard for a performance inspired by the local legend of the Alphington Ponies.  DURING the forties of last century, every...

      Moodboard for a performance inspired by the local legend of the Alphington Ponies. 

      DURING the forties of last century, every visitor to Torquay noticed two ladies of very singular appearance. Their residence was in one of the two thatched cottages on the left of Torre Abbey Avenue, looking seaward, very near the Torgate of the avenue. Their chief places of promenade were the Strand and Victoria Parade, but they were often seen in other parts of the town. Bad weather was the only thing that kept them from frequenting their usual beat. They were two Misses Durnford, and their costume was peculiar. 


    The Tale is produced by Situations in association with Curledge Street Academy, Paignton Picture House, Play Torbay, Sound Communities, South Devon College, Torbay Coast and Countryside Trust, Torbay Culture and Torquay Museum. Special thanks to Diverse City for their consultation and support.

    The Tale has been made possible through the generous support of an Arts Council England Ambition for Excellence grant, Australia Council for the Arts, Ernest Cook Trust, the Jerwood Charitable Foundation, Norwegian Arts Council, The Space and Unlimited Impact.

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