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Muddy meets Rogue Otherworld

It's outdoor theatre as you've never seen it before - wild, magical and at one with nature. We caught up with the Muddy Cornwall Award winning theatre co coming to Herts this month, to find out more.

Storytelling wizards and founders of Rogue Otherworld, husband and wife team, Ollie Oakenshield and Angelina Boscarelli, tell us what to expect from their spellbinding open air show, Wild by Nature coming to Home Farm in Elstree on 29-30 July.

Angela working her magic!

Where and when did the Rogue Theatre story begin? 

We first met and started working together as part of a resident theatre team at the Eden Project in Cornwall 20 years ago. Angelina had been touring internationally with a Mad Max-style Circus (with sets by Banksy!) and Ollie toured nationally with outdoor theatre. We were both really excited by each other’s creativity and started our Rogue Theatre adventure in 2003. In the early days we made shows that toured the UK, bringing a highly visual spectacle of physical performance, live music and a twist of circus to small to mid-scale venues. 

What was your vision for Rogue and what makes it different to other theatre companies?  

Our vision was to create transformational theatre experiences at the heart of community life, celebrating our connection to each other and the living world. The stories we tell have a unique magic, full of wonder and mystery, and theatre brings people together from all walks of life. Our vision was a theatre where everybody has a place (and can afford to take part) and where diversity amplifies the shared experience. Our theatre is wild by nature (and takes place in the wild!), mixing artistic disciplines and sparking new cultural traditions that connect us to the seasons and nature.

The woods and trees are the perfect stage for a Rogue performance

Where do you find the inspiration for your stories? 

All of our shows are Rogue originals, though many have roots in older stories. Some are inspired by fairytales, myths, legends and folklore and others by real life experiences. We love fairytales as they have travelled through time and been told over and over again, capturing a new bit of magic from each retelling. We often look for new perspectives, new characters to relate to and unseen jewels buried in the fathoms of old tales.  All of our stories grow from wild places and have a glint of wonder and flicker of roguish flame!

How do you incorporate the natural surroundings into your performances?  

We lead people into story worlds in wild landscapes. Audiences are welcomed into the woods to find themselves in a witch’s kitchen, a fairy ring or the Wild King’s cave. It is an immersive experience that weaves the natural landscape into the performance, with artistic installations and music. In Celtic culture trees and woodlands were always places to gather and share stories and we wanted to recreate that feeling of old magic through wild theatre.

Ollie in character

What can audiences expect from Wild by Nature

This show is a vibrant collection of Rogue tales told with a mix of brilliant live music and bewitching vocals, where imaginations can run wild. There’ll be dance, physical performance and otherworldly costumes, primal storytelling, fire and even a pirate circus.

Sounds mesmerising! What age are your shows suitable for?

Fairytales grow deeper roots as we get older, and our theatre is for imaginations of all ages. We create theatre that adults love to share with their children. It doesn’t shy away from meaningful narratives, but has a mix of wonder and highly engaging performance in a welcoming style. Often adults can’t believe how engaged even the youngest children are in our immersive story worlds. 

One of Rogue’s immersive experiences

What are you looking forward to most about returning to Home Farm?  

Home Farm is a beautiful setting; a camping meadow where woodsmoke dances through the long grass towards the woodland. It is a fantastic wild theatre space that offers us an opportunity to welcome new people into our world.

What do you hope your audiences will take away from your show?  

A sense of wonder, connection with nature, and a renewed excitement for life’s challenges and adventures. We hope audiences will talk about the stories and the experience of immersive theatre and continue to discover more magic long after the performance ends.

Rogue Otherworld’s Wild by Nature is coming to Home Farm on 29 and 30 July. Book here.

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