My View, Andrew Loretto

We cannot wait for April 30, not just because of the fantastic Tour de Yorkshire coming to Doncaster, but because we'll also be able to show off the borough's creative talents to international audiences when we bring The Great Big Donco to life.

Wednesday, 23rd March 2016, 3:59 pm
Updated Wednesday, 23rd March 2016, 4:02 pm
James Hardisty, Stage 2 of The Tour De Yorkshire from Selby to York, 174KM, Riders in the main peloton pass Beverley Minster.

The Great Big Donco brings storytelling, large-scale puppetry and music together for a fun, family performance event, co-commissioned by Yorkshire Festival and Right Up Our Street.

Local artists and community members are working together to create two premiere performances of The Great Big Donco specially for the finish line of Stage 2 of the Tour de Yorkshire in Doncaster.

We are looking for members of the public aged 16 and over from the local community who want to get involved in this project and perform as part of the day.

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We need a mix of actors, singers and movers (dancers and puppeteers) to join in the performance. All levels of experience are welcome.

So what exactly is a Donco? Well, it is an invented legendary creature of old Danum (Doncaster) town and borough… up snickett, down dale, hiding in pinfolds and splashing in the Don… the Donco is a mythical, nomadic creature of yore which has been created from the imaginations of local professional artists and communities.

Following a successful bid to Yorkshire Festival we have been undertaking a borough-wide creative expedition with local communities to design different parts of Great Donco and invent stories and songs for the premiere performances.

We’ve got some amazing local visual artists working on the project. Both Dan Jones and Kate Sully will lead on visualisation and the physical realisation of the functioning animated Donco creature.

The super Richard Hurford and Sharon Richards will deliver storytelling and songwriting, creating material for live promenade performance alongside appearances of the Great Big Donco.

Lucy Cullingford is movement director and I’ll be directing the staging of the final piece.

The Great Big Donco will premiere on April 30 to tie in with Stage 2 of Tour de Yorkshire in Doncaster but there will be further opportunities to see this creature throughout the year. This includes our DNweekeND festival on September 2 -4.

What the Donco will look and feel like when completed has been up to the imagination and creativity of the people of Doncaster and from what I’ve seen so far it is certainly unlike anything else!

Details of how to get involved with The Great Big Donco and rehearsal times are online now at