On 24th February the team behind The Wicker Husband a folk musical launched an online
crowdfund for further development of the project.
The support has been overwhelming and over 30% of the target – £3,018 – has already been raised. The creative team are optimistic they will reach their goal of £9,500 by the end of the campaign on 2nd April.
WHAT IS THE WICKER HUSBAND?
• CREATIVE TEAM: Based on an original short story by Ursula Wills-Jones, The Wicker Husband a folk musical is being adapted by composer Darren Clark and bookwriter Rhys Jennings.
• PREVIOUS DEVELOPMENT: With help from director/dramaturg Charlotte Westenra, the Unicorn Theatre, the Little Angel Puppet Theatre and the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, material has already been through a series of workshops with actors, musicians, students and puppeteers.
• FUTURE DEVELOPMENT: The money and support raised through this crowdfund will strengthen and subsidise a bid to the Arts Council to undertake a series of three workshops:
• ONE: Material will be taken into a week of workshop with actors and musicians with a focus on structure for the second act.
• TWO: An exciting collaboration between puppetry experts and basketmakers, during which a human wicker puppet will be designed, built and explored.
• THREE: Material will be rehearsed and performed script-in-hand at a private industry sharing to gather feedback and secure future production.
• FOLK: Unlike most conventional musicals, The Wicker Husband a folk musical, will feature a score influenced by the best of British folk music – performed by an on-stage band of actor musicians. The story borrows heavily from British and Scandinavian folklore and this will be reflected in its musical language.
• PUPPETRY: In an on-stage landscape populated by human actors, the title role of the Wicker Husband will be played by a full size puppet made of wicker. He will be operated by three puppeteers using a traditional style of puppetry known as ‘bunraku’. Other puppet characters will also feature, including a little wicker dog (called Basket!) and a monstrous lady woven from thorns.
• FUSION: Combining folk music and musical theatre is an interesting fusion in itself. Both are a medium of storytelling-through-music and have a lot to offer one another. But the fusion of puppetry and basketry is what sets this project apart. These two ancient crafts both give life to the inanimate, and The Wicker Husband, a folk musical will possess a magical quality thanks to this exciting collaboration of basketmakers and puppeteers.
• INCENTIVES: There are a number of incentives in place to encourage donating to the project’s development, including:
• All UK residents who donate over £5 will be entered into a general raffle for £160 worth of vouchers, donated by Theatre Tokens and the Society of London Theatre, Waterstones, Cafe Rouge and Boots.
• All UK actors who donate over £6 will ALSO be entered into an actors-only raffle to win a package worth over £500. This includes free headshots with Samuel Black Photography, 2 years free membership to the Actors Guild, 6 months free membership (+£15 Workshop Credit) to the Actors Centre, 2 months free membership to Dramanic, £150 off a tax return for new clients with Theataccounts, a free showreel editing package from Casting Workshops, a free 1-on-1 Shakespeare workshop with Charlotte Westenra, a free 1-on-1 Career Development workshop with Oliver Powell, and a copy of Contacts 2016 donated by Spotlight UK.
• Other incentives include: a hand written thank you card, a signed copy of the rehearsal script, private online access to music in development, and invitations to the puppetry and industry showings.
• Anyone who contributes over £1 will be welcomed into “The Wicker Family”, and will be kept up to date with progress as the work develops.
WHERE TO FIND OUT MORE?
• CROWDFUND: The crowdfund can be found at http://bit.ly/wickerhusband
• TWITTER: handle: @wickerhusband – link: https://twitter.com/wickerhusband
• FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/WickerHusband
• RAFFLE: Details of both raffles can be found and entered at http://bit.ly/TheOtherPerks