12 February 2010 Now and Then

8 September 'Taster Day'

Residents from Mary Warner's arrived at Hollesley Primary School to enjoy watching and sharing in performances and workshops. The entire school of 44 children performed a country dance. Mary Warner resident Mary Chittock sang Paddy McGinty's Goat whilst Mrs Plunkett recited 'The Wraggle Taggle Gypsies'. Percy and Doreen West and Lenny Whiting demonstrated step dancing and encouraged children to have a go whilst Selva Engel accompanied them on the fiddle. Vernon and Jan Rose sang traditional songs, introduced the children to jig dolls and engaged the whole school in singing along. Anusha Subramnayam, baratanyam dancer, and RR Prathap, mrudungam player, delighted everyone with their vocalised rhythms and exciting dance patterns and everyone had a chance to learn some steps. Dean Parkin, poet, performed his participatory 'Bubble Wrap' amongst other poems to encourage the children to play with words and to 'tell lies'.

A large number of parents arrived for the last part of the day to watch the results of the workshops and to learn about the project from Alys Kihl, director.




14 July 2009 Hollesley School at Mary Warner's

"It feels good knowing that you are working with older people because they have so much in their life that they are prepared to share with you. They have had really exciting lives and were willing to have a go at anything. They tell fascinating stories which put a big smile on the listener's face. There were ladies who were bus conductresses during the Second World War and lots more exciting jobs."

"I think this will be a great experience for all that take part but I am most anxious to try some Indian dancing and drumming! Now all these activities are leading up to an exciting performance in February when we hope that many people in the village will come!"

Extracts from 'Village Voices' written by school reporters, Georgia Donaldson and Sam Parkinson

Anthea Sieveking - photographer


We are most grateful to the funders who have contributed to this project: Suffolk Artlink, Suffolk County Council - Suffolk County Councillor Rosemary Clarke's Locality Budget, Suffolk Foundation (Suffolk Single Gateway), The Lord Belstead, Barbara Whatmore and Scarfe Charitable Trusts, and the Co-op Community Dividend Fund.

Older people
In 2008 Wonderful Beast established a partnership with Suffolk Artlink devising a series of workshops in day care centres and almshouses, culminating in a visit to Wonderful Beast’s production The Dead Moon and Behind The Scenes at Mary Warner's.

This was followed by a public performance with a selected group of participants resulting in further plans for an intergenerational project in 2009.

Traditional music and dance
Over the last couple of years Wonderful Beast has developed links with The East Anglian Traditional Music Trust and joined forces with local step dancers and traditional singers who have performed in Wonderful Beast’s shows - The Dead Moon and Behind The Scenes at Mary Warner's.

Mary's Walk

Behind the Scenes at Mary Warner’s

Memories of Suffolk – Smuggling, Stories and Songs