If you go down to the woods at night you certainly will be surprised. In daylight hours The Faraway Forest is unusual enough, with otherworldly beings, sheds, huts, tents, golden spheres and multi coloured trees but to name a few delights among the theatre stages, but go there after hours and it takes a wonderfully Grimm turn. Nicole Evans intriguingly sauntered in to see what mysteries were lurking.
Beginning with Faerie Tale Cabaret, The Little House stage is occupied by The Mad Hatter who, with the help of a few willing volunteers, stages a unique telling of the fight between Alice and The Jabberwocky using balloon swords and pound-shop fairy wings. With people standing, and lots of coming and going, it’s a little chaotic and feels more like a fill in than a billed act
A short wander outside reveals a swing frame with a large metal hoop attached to it and a man weaving a woman in rope and proceeding to suspend her in some entirely provocative positions. Nicely lit bondage about sums up the vibe and the image of him caressing her hair out of its ties is oddly fascinating and, although rather creepy and voyeuristic, is hard not to stay and watch.
Another short wander through the trees reveals the Shed Of Stories where the opportunity to be screamed at by the Wicked Witch arises. Always a pleasant experience. Butterfly art appears next door, with Caterpillar smoking his pipe outside. Opposite this the chance to hold a variety of reptiles and arachnids (this reviewer bottled it on the eight legged freak I’m afraid) and overlooking that, a life drawing class.
Add to this a splattering of burlesque, an 80s style fortune-telling garden decking routine, a lit up robot puppet and a gazebo housing the smallest yet liveliest Russian disco you will ever witness and it definitely wins as being the most surreal 90 minutes you will ever spend!
A freakyFridayevening indeed.
Meanwhile on the DJstages…
While all of this is going on, and once the main stages hit curfew, the more energetic revellers revel on In The Woods at the various DJ stages and the iArena.Saturdaywas particularly lively due to the announcement that Radiohead’s Thom Yorke was coming for a not-so-secret gig and, as word got round and capacity was reached, the crowds got a little restless.The Black Musicset continued churning out the tunes though and the lavish stage was in full swing with spirits remaining high enough to party until the small hours.
Mostly populated by the younger festival goers, it’s a task in stamina to keep up while still looking bright and breezy to queue for the toilet the next morning, but, if all else fails, a mash-up of songs and sets makes for a soothing bedtime story to drift of to sleep to if the prospect of3amis just too much.