Friday 17 – Sunday 26 September
Moors Valley Country Park and Forest
Poole Old Town & Quay
Symondsbury Estate, Bridport
Inside Out Dorset, the biennial international arts festival, returns this autumn to transform
five extraordinary locations with art and performances outdoors that celebrate the county’s
sense of place.
Running over two weekends from 17 to 26 September, Inside Out Dorset is hosted by
Dorchester-based outdoor arts producer Activate. Central to the programme are themes of
sustainability, land use and lifecycles, human and environmental, as well as an on-going
commitment to break down barriers and open the free-to-attend festival events to the
widest possible audience.
Postponed from last year due to the coronavirus pandemic, the festival has commissioned
three world premieres including Partnering With Earth, a performance poetry installation at
the Symondsbury Estate near Bridport on 24-26 September. Created by theatre-maker
performance artist Dave Young, aka The Shouting Mute, from natural and upcycled materials
it features a soundscape of recordings made with local farmers, walkers, land managers,
foresters and riders in conversation about climate change, and the poems he created from
those stories. The recordings form a soundscape within the installation as a cast of Disabled
performers and artists read Dave’s poems.
“What surprised me was the matter-of-fact way the interviewees were able to talk about
climate change and how much it’s impacting things locally,” says Dave.
“I’ve started to explore the question of what we need to do in order to change how we think
about climate change as a human crisis, not a climate crisis. The installation explores the
relationship we have with the natural world and climate change and perhaps inspires us to
get outside, to listen and connect with the nature on our doorstep.
“I like access to be integrated within the performance – audio-description can double up as
a storytelling tool; sign language can help with understanding body language; captions can
be on the set as part of the visual design. Everyone can get something from the show in the
Dave has also written the narrative and lyrics for Planted Symphony, a new audio trail by
Drake Music, the UK’s leading organisation working in music, disability and technology, that
reimagines the original work and pays tribute to its composer Lucy Hale who died this year.
It can be experienced at Radipole Park and Gardens, near Weymouth, from 24 to 26
Dave adds: “As a Disabled person I discovered the arts, performance and creative expression
at a young age and joined local arts groups. For me, it has been a natural platform upon
which to explore questions that are important to me. Right now, that’s about connecting
with our beautiful countryside and holding each other accountable for giving it the care and
respect it deserves.”
Created by Disabled and Non-Disabled musicians, poets, storytellers and artists, Planted
Symphony uses a smartphone app to tell the story with spoken word, music and lyrics of a
herbalist who uses the natural world to heal, grown and transform. SUBPAC systems that
convert sound into a full-body experience will be available for D/deaf and hard of hearing
Activate’s inclusive youth performance company, The Remix has joined forced with Dorset
Youth Dance, Movers & Shakers and RISE Youth Dance to perform new choreography
inspired by Thomas Hardy’s Tess of the d’Urbervilles and the glorious Dorset countryside, The
piece, Tess, can be seen at Christchurch on 19 September and Symondsbury Estate on 26
Directed by Anna Golding with choreographer Emily Aiden, Two and a Half is a new work
from West Dorset community dance company Fingerprint performed by Forest, a new
company of adults with different abilities, and mature dancers company Grace + Growl. The
piece is inspired by the 2.5-degree rise in Arctic sea temperatures due to climate change
and can be seen at Christchurch and the Symondsbury Estate on 19 and 26 September
In addition to showcasing work by Disabled artists, it is part of Activate’s mission to make
Inside Out Dorset’s sometimes remote locations as accessible as possible. Maps and walkthrough
films for each site can be found on the festival website and there are audio-visual
descriptions for each artwork, as well as relaxed performances. On-site, Access Volunteers
will provide active stewarding and assistance; while accessible conveniences will include a
Changing Places toilet.