Yorkshire ensemble bring Ted Hughes to life on stage at The Civic

This spring, international theatre company OBRA unite a powerful ensemble to perform their stunning stage adaptation of Ted Hughes’ poetic text at The Civic in Barnsley.

Hughes’ 1977 surreal poetic novel will be explored on stage for the first time since the 1980s as it is re-imagined in a highly physical take on this rarely performed text, brought to the stage for only the second time since it was written.

The life of a Yorkshire village is shattered when elemental spirits replace the parish priest with his double. Alternative realities collide as this changeling interprets the gospel of love in his own alarming fashion. What goes on at the Women’s Institute?

OBRA interweave a precise physicality, dynamic choric dance and evocative images accompanied by a soundscape that includes live junkyard percussion to bring Hughes’ visceral language to life.

Originally written as a film in 1964 before the poet re-wrote it as a novel in verse, OBRA’s initial version of the first part of the triptych, Act I: Prologue, appeared at the BE Festival in 2012, where it won a jury prize for Best Dramaturgy.

This tour marks the first time that audiences will be able to see both Act I and Act II. The final act of Gaudete will be completed over the summer and all three acts of the triptych will tour during Autumn 2017.

Director Kate Hannah Papi said, “The process to make this stage adaptation began in 2009 with Olivero Papi and a small group of artists, all of whom had a desire to explore it physically, to taste the words and share this largely ignored work of Ted Hughes with a larger public.

“Quite simply, no other text has touched me like Gaudete; it is complex and beautiful and, although it shows us the terrifying cruelty that man is capable of, it offers us a form of redemption through a recognition of nature’s place in our world, and an acceptance of life in all its complexity ”.

Gaudete is at The Civic on Friday 24 March at 7:30pm. Tickets are £12 full price and £10 concessions.  Recommended for ages 16 +.

For more information and to book visit or call the Box Office on 01226 327000.

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