Ours Was the Fen Country

Between 2010 and 2012, Dan Canham went on a process of recording conversations with people of the fens in East Anglia. Eel-catchers, horse breeders, museum keepers and young farmers were all interviewed.

In this ethereal piece of documentary dance-theatre Dan and his team fuse movement and sound with the words and memories of their native collaborators to get to the heart of this beautiful, bleak and mysterious expanse of flat land and dig up universal stories of rural communities fading from view.

Ours Was The Fen Country is a striking and poetic look at the disappearance of the small things from the voices of those who still know the old words.

A deeply moving meditation on the passing of a way of life ...performed with an authenticity and immediacy that stuns like an arrow through the heart. Unmissable. ★★★★★
— Venue Magazine


audience responses...

Canham and his cast provide a living eulogy: harsh, bleak and richly beautiful
— Lyn Gardner, The Guardian
A moving portrait of a vanishing community.
— Independent (Critic's choice)

sounds from the archive - added audio material


Ours Was the Fen Country was produced by MAYK and is commissioned by Bristol Old Vic Ferment, New Wolsey Theatre Ipswich and DanceXchange. Supported by the National Lottery through Arts Council Engand. East Anglia rural touring produced in collaboration with the New Wolsey Theatre.

Research and development supported by Arts Council England, Pulse Fringe at the New Wolsey Theatre, BETA at the Norfolk and Norwich Festival, Bristol Old Vic Ferment, Dartington Arts and Norfolk Dance.

Special thanks to Charlotte Gray for permission in using an image from Fenland... in the show.

Ours Was the Fen Country has played the following places: New Wolsey Theatre Studio, Ipswich / Bristol Old Vic Studio / DanceXchange, Birmingham / Norfolk and Norwich Festival / Dance City, Newcastle / Cambridge Junction / The Place, London / Salisbury Arts Centre / Wisbech Angles Theatre / Ely Maltings / Peterborough Key / March Town Hall / Chatteris Midsummer Festival / Dancebase, Edinburgh Fringe / The Shed, National Theatre, London / South Holland Centre, Spalding / Lincoln Performing Arts Centre / DeDa, Derby / Pomegranate, Chesterfield / Pavilion Dance, Bournemouth / Aberystwyth Arts Centre / Lakeside Arts Centre, Nottingham / The Showroom Chichester / Wales Millenium Centre, Cardiff / Brighton Festival / Dublin Dance Festival.

Credits:

Performers: Neil Paris, Tilly Webber, Dan Canham, Ian Morgan (Spring tour 2013 and beyond), Neil Callaghan (Edinburgh Fringe 2013), Laura Dannequin (original R&D)

Direction and Sound design: Dan Canham

Choreography: Dan Canham and the company

Creative advisor: Laura Dannequin

Lighting design: Malcolm Rippeth

Production manager: Luke Murray

Interviews Conducted by: Dan Canham and Laura Dannequin

Produced by: MAYK