CoC21 Theatre in the Parks - Trails & Tales

  • Noble, Glenn (Principal Investigator)

Project: Internally funded project

Project Details


This is a pilot project to develop the a small tourable performance event in July 2019 and to represent the context with which to grow strategic partners, community participants and audiences for the establishment of annual Theatre in the Parks initiative from CU and The Fabularium and provide a unique offer to Coventry as it builds towards 2021.

Working in partnership with The Fabularium, current PA undergraduates and recent graduates will create a new piece of promenade performance work for presentation in two of the ‘lesser programmed’ parklands in Coventry over three days in each location. The work will be planned and designed following workshops and consultation with community organisations in close vicinity of these parks, and created in June 2019, with performances in early July, prior to the end of the school term. For Undergraduate participants, the project will act as a work experience placement between 2nd and 3rd year, and for recent graduates an early employment.

The work is part commissioned by Wild Rumpus, with whom SMPA/The Fabularium have collaborated since 2015 and the piece will also be presented at the Just So Festival in August – giving the student and emerging performers an experience of an extended run of work.

Key findings

We created a high-quality performance event for local communities around two
local parks and green-spaces in Coventry, and developed engagement activities to
draw audiences from local schools, community groups and activated participant
volunteers to support the events. We were able to bring a range of stakeholder ‘to
the table’ to highlight potential arts contexts for the greenspaces we utilised and
these discussions are continuing for more diverse community-led initiatives (tbc) in
these local environs. The project represented a summer engagement/work
placement context for a range of MPA students and a first employment stage for a
number of recent graduates.

We utilised the project development period to cement relationships with Outdoor
Arts UK and in so doing have secured the OAUK conference for November 2019 in
Coventry and we (MPA) will act as co-hosts for this national profile event, providing
access and a live brief in stewarding and animating the event for our students.
We have further developed our relationship with Wild Rumpus, an award-winning
outdoor arts organisation that presents a range of festival events around the world,
and with whom a significant number of our graduates have gained employment. Our
2019 participants all engaged in the preparation and performance of related
animations at the Just So Festival in August 2019 and have utilised this as a further
stage of professional development

The impact of the project has been to inspire local community groups to move
forward on a number of restoration projects and greenspace maintenance plans –
notably, (and within the timeframe of completion of our performance project and
the submission of this report):

• The groundwork and restoration of the Medieval Animal compound within
the woodland area on Coat of Arms Bridge Road, immediately behind War
Memorial Park and adjacent to the route take for the performance in July;
• The further clearance of the pathways/Spinney path running along both sides
of the Kenilworth Road, between Kenpas Highway and Gibbet Hill (some 2
miles of woodland;
• The instigation of forest school activities and utilisation of some of the
performance zones from this project as ‘outdoor classrooms’ and learning
spaces by Stivichall Primary and Woodside Avenue Playgroup;
• Proposals from Friends of Nauls Mill Park to City council for greater access
provision and heritage focussed restoration within the park and immediate
Effective start/end date18/06/1921/07/19

Collaborative partners


  • outdoor performance
  • theatre
  • City of Culture
  • Arts in Regeneration
  • Communities
  • Young People


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