A unique theatre show promises to delight and amaze guests whilst they learn about Doncaster’s history

A cabaret show is coming to Doncaster and it will explore Doncaster’s rural history.

By Laura Andrew
Monday, 23rd August 2021, 8:17 am

The Magic of Wild Heather has been directed by James Blakey.

He has crafted a unique theatre show that not many people will have had the pleasure to experience.

James said: “The Magic of Wild Heather feels more like an event than a traditional theatre show.

The Magic of Wild Heather will be performed over the Bank Holiday weekend.

“There is a celebratory atmosphere which we think will match the energy of people returning to the theatre after a long period away.”

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Unlike the average show the audience will not be seated on one side of the stage.

But rather interspersed amongst the actors.

There will be a feast after the show for guests to enjoy.

Actors and audience members will share the same space and it will give the show a studio atmosphere.

The cabaret format will see performers move amongst the crowd and James hopes it will feel like people are guests of the show instead of customers.

“There’s an element of ‘what am I going to see next?’ which I think is really exciting,” he said.

“There is of course a story at the heart of the show - a magical tale woven with fairy tale aspects.

“It will explore the rural history of Doncaster.

“Everyone knows about the industrial and mining heritage of the town but not many know that Doncaster thrived before that.

“It was once a gem in the agricultural world.”

The story will follow an old folklore that has been widely forgotten after many generations.

James hopes that the story will make people proud to be from Doncaster once they have connected to the tale.

“Doncaster has so much to be culturally proud of,” he said.

“When we were doing research we found there was this urge to leave the town by many so we wanted to explore that within the story line.

“The main character leaves but returns to realise that it is a great place.”

The show will be performed by members of the Doncaster community.

Ranging in age from 13 to 84.

“Some of these people have lived in Doncaster for generations,” James said.

“But others come from El Salvador and Sudan.

“It’s a universal fairy tale with inspiration taken from all over.”

The Magic of Wild Heather was written by Jasmin Mandi-Ghomi, directed by James Blakey and designed by Hannah Sibai.

The creative team is completed by musicians Hayley Yule and Nick Lewis plus filmmaker Ranjish Madaan.

The Magic of Wild Heather is a community project through National Theatre’s Public Acts programme.

They aim to bring theatre into communities and create lasting relationships between people an the arts.

They have worked with B:Friend, Conversation Club, Edlington Community Organisation, Cast Young Company and Darts.

After the show there will be a banquet made up of Caribbean delicacies.

Audience members are encouraged to talk to one another about what they have just experienced.

The Wild Heather show will be on at Cast over the Bank Holiday weekend (August 28, 29).

There is no set cost as it pay what you feel it was worth.

You can book a ticket here.

In these confusing and worrying times, local journalism is more vital than ever. Thanks to everyone who helps us ask the questions that matter by taking out a subscription or buying a paper. We stand together. Liam Hoden, editor.