Seek, Find, Speak premieres at Timber | Visit National Forest

Seek, Find, Speak premieres at Timber

Posted on Wednesday 21st March

This summer, festival-goers will be able to experience the world premiere of the outdoor theatre companion to the enchanting, bestselling book The Lost Words, taking place at the major new festival Timber, which celebrates the transformative impact of forests upon people and places.

Seek, Find, Speak; A Conjuring Told in Gold is a brand-new official spoken-word adaptation of The Lost Words by Robert Macfarlane and Jackie Morris, a magical book of acrostic “spell-poems” and bewitching gold-leaf illustrations about twenty common nature words – from “acorn” to “wren” by way of “kingfisher” – at risk of disappearance from modern childhood in our increasingly urban and technologised world.

Seek, Find, Speak takes the form of a forest theatre-trail for all ages, both self-guided and also led by a charm of Goldfinch performers. It will feature stunning 3D installations of Jackie Morris’s golden illustrations and Macfarlane’s words, such as spells wrapped in gold lettering around trees, animals to be discovered in the woodland, and lines of spells perched on branches like starlings. Together with sound recordings of the spell poems from some of Britain’s famous voices of all ages and accents, including inspiring athletes, naturalists, actors, poets, musicians and scientists, The Lost Words will come alive in the National Forest, itself one of Britain’s boldest environmental projects, for families to Seek, Find and Speak this summer.

The Creator and Director of Seek, Find Speak is Collette Murray whose 15 years as professional Director and Voice Coach, combined with experience as a Forest School Practitioner has inspired Murray to bring The Lost Words to life to help reach young people in an outdoor setting.

Collette, whose recent credits include The Kid Stays in the Picture (The Royal Court/Complicite) and Jubilee and The Almighty Sometimes (Royal Exchange) says “I am delighted and honoured to be adapting The Lost Words to an outdoor theatre piece; Robert and Jackie have created something quite, quite bewitching in their Spell Book. In Seek, Find, Speak, we want to enchant people, young and old, to use their own voices to bring these spells to life in Britain’s great outdoors.

Premiering at Timber Festival, The Lost Words are hidden in the National Forest waiting to be found. To conjure these spells, a charm of Goldfinches will guide the audience participants through a forest theatre trail to Seek, to Find and, importantly, to Speak some lost words of nature. The forest trail will offer many golden clues so all will have to explore the landscape, with ears, eyes and heart. Conjuring these spells with the power of their own voices, the audience will join the Goldfinches in charming these words into our stories and dreams once again – stories to be Told in Gold.”

Robert Macfarlane says: “At the heart and origin of The Lost Words is a wish to bring nearby nature – the creatures, trees and plants with which we share our landscapes, but that too often slip from our care or attention – back into the lives and stories of Britain’s children. Collette’s adaptation promises to do exactly this, in a new way – adapting The Lost Words into a spoken-word/oral culture performance, to tour festivals this summer, and then to look to a longer legacy for the adaptation in terms of a show that can be taken into schools. That the premiere of the adaptation is planned for the inaugural National Forest festival, Timber, seems a perfect alignment. She has the fullest support of me and Jackie Morris”.

After the inaugural weekend of performances at Timber, the project will go on tour later this year and into 2019 in both natural and urban locations. Collette Murray, Robert Macfarlane and Jackie Morris are keen that this project reaches and inspires young people who are the least advantaged in their connection to the language of the natural world.