It is winter and snow is expected. As the audience make their way along the North Cloister, a girl in white appears on a swing in the Cloister Garth. Geese fly overhead and the wind whistles…
Last weekend (16-18 December) sell-out promenade performances of A Winter’s Trail, led audiences on an experiential journey through wintertime memories. The creative team from Hoodwink, a theatre and cross-art form performance event company, transformed the medieval space evoking winters past and present. What is ordinarily a small side chapel became a living room, lit by a familiar standard lamp. Jelly was served at a gigantic table by bustling matrons, and a boy on skis hurried up the Nave Aisle to ask his sweetheart out.
For a breathtaking moment a ballerina, 17-year-old Emily Harper from Salisbury’s Forest School of Dance, held the stage - then the spotlight shifted to a figure in evening dress, who serenade participants from high above the Spire Crossing. In theTrinity Chapel a blizzard of fairy lights and paper pom-pom snowflakes, each made by volunteers with a handwritten Christmas memory inside, greets the audience, who are asked to lie down and contemplate the scene. This installation remains in place until after Christmas so anyone who missed the performance can come to the Cathedral to see it.
Old time music by the piano, dancers waltzing down the nave to the unusually jaunty sound of the Cathedral’s famous Father Willis organ, and a happy gaggle playing with a gigantic ball, lit up from inside, if you want a flavour of what particpants saw and shared check out our video below.
A Winter’s Trail was commissioned by Salisbury Cathedral and made possible by a generous grant from the Arts Council England. Inspired by anecdotes and reminiscences collected from the residents of Robert Stokes Almshouse, Holmwood Care Home in Salisbury, and children from St Osmund’s Catholic Primary School, the professional cast are joined by a host of volunteers, making use of their skills in floristry, ballroom dancing, singing and performing (to name but a few). Groups taking part include Wellington School of Dance, Mind the Gap and Salisbury Cathedral flower arrangers. Volunteers have also helped behind-the-scenes, making elements of the set during Hoodwink-led workshops and Snowflake Workshops in the Cathedral.
For more information please contact Marie Thomas email@example.com 01722 555148