What's On

Soup and a Story


  • 20-24 September 2023
  • Bere Regis

This is a past event

Four new commissions from Inside Out Dorset, with the kind support of Dorset AONB, Dorset Food & Drink and Walk the Plank.

Four South West artists have been commissioned to create a story, a poem, a performance, to accompany a delicious soup. Their ideas are in response to Wild Woodbury at Bere Regis, the area owned by Dorset Wildlife Trust that is currently undergoing a rewilding process.

These stories and performances will be shared while you are served the accompanying soup (prepared by our on-site caterers). The setting will be This Woven O an exquisite installation disabled artist Oliver MacDonald, originally commissioned by Greenwich & Docklands International Festival in 2022. You are invited to enter a magical circular sanctuary, woven entirely from willow. The installation is firstly moving to Wild Woodbury to house these stories during the Inside Out Dorset festival, but will also find its permanent residence here too.

The commissioned artists are:

Ri Baroche
In an ode to the nettle, Ri will combine prose, poetry, song, comedy and drag to present the case for this overlooked and under-appreciated natural wonder and vital salve in the rewilding of areas like Wild Woodbury. A thorny symbol of foreboding, a scourge to be rooted out, perhaps it has more to teach and heal within us, more light to shed on the darker parts of ourselves and society, than we would like to admit. Ri’s soup offering will be a vegan autumnal nettle recipe.

Mahtab Grimshaw
My wild life in a pot is about how my love for nature, art and cooking saved me several times on my darkest days of dealing with postnatal depression and anxiety far from home with a simple but humorous language. The story starts when I left my home in Iran to marry an Englishman I fell in love with 18 years ago and settled in Dorset, using the ups and downs in my life and highlights of those years as ingredients of a slow cooked soup that I think is matured enough now to be tasted. This performance is a one woman show in an object/puppet theatre format.

Tilly Ingram
Tilly’s soup and a story centres around the White Tailed Eagle’s return to Dorset through the translocation project. Tracking the journey as we begin to rewild our lands and see creatures that were once native return from the past. Tracing one young eagle – G463 – whose travels around Europe became newsworthy as he journeyed with only one talon seemingly against all odds. The story focuses on how our landscape can change with community action and seeing the land through a bird’s eye.

Ray Wills
I am a Poet, a writer of fiction and non fiction, a social historian and social activist. I regularly give talks, poetry book readings and signings on local history at museums, libraries, history centres and community centres. Aged 78, I have Gypsy traveller ancestry and was born in Newtown, Poole. Presently I live in Cyril Wood Court in Bere Regis in the sheltered housing unit for writers, musicians and artists. My commissioned work on Wild Woodbury is based loosely on historical fact, along with some poetical licence. It is a Love story twixt a wealthy Abbot and a local Gypsy water cress girl from the gypsy encampment on Judge Jeffries, Gallows Hill. It is set in mid 1800s. My soup recipe is a water cress soup.


Wednesday 20 September, 12pm, 1.30pm, 3pm: Mahtab Grimshaw

Thursday 21 September, 12pm, 1.30pm, 3pm: Tilly Ingram

Friday 22 September, 11.30am, 1.30pm, 3.30pm: Ri Baroche

Friday 22 September, 12.30pm, 2.30pm: Ray Wills

Saturday 23 September, 11.30am, 1.30pm, 3.30pm: Mahtab Grimshaw

Saturday 23 September, 12.30pm, 2.30pm, 4.30pm: Tilly Ingram

Sunday 24 September, 11.30am, 1.30pm, 3.30pm: Ray Wills

Sunday 24 September, 12.30pm, 2.30pm, 4.30pm: Ri Baroche


Image: Annie Spratt, Unsplash.



The festival location has some uneven paved areas but mostly consists of undulating grassland, fields and rough tracks.

On Saturday 23 September there will be Audio Desciption, tactile tours and a BSL interpreter for performances of Songs for a Shifting Soil and Five Seasons. Please meet at the main information desk thirty minutes before the performance for more information.

Volunteers will also be available to provide help and information.

Plan Your Visit

Wild Woodbury, Dorset Wildlife Trust’s rewilding site, Bere Regis, BH20 7LL.
Once on Southbrook Road, the entrance to Wild Woodbury is along a track opposite Elder Road.

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