The Last Woodwose - Framlingham

A new play infused with East Anglian legend, music and magic

Wonderful Beast presents a new play by Suffolk writer Thea Smiley. A female woodwose, or wild woman of the woods tells the extraordinary story of her life through shapeshifting, storytelling and magic, and reveals the origin of the legendary Green Children.

Wonderful Beast (The Return of the Wildman; Orla and the Sun; Storm of Stories) this autumn takes audiences into the woods. Its upcoming production of local writer Thea Smiley’s new play The Last Woodwose tours a series of unconventional venues, with open-air performances in several Suffolk woodlands.

So, what’s a woodwose? Usually a bearded, hairy-skinned, naked man (with a few rare women), it’s a medieval figure, always brandishing a club, occasionally battling a fierce dragon. Smiley spins a tale of a wild woman: the last woodwose herself. A shapeshifter, she is strong yet maternal, mature yet vibrant, powerful yet endangered. Aimed at audiences aged 10+, poetry, music and nature writing entwine for a poignant fairytale experience: Wonderful Beast’s trademark. 

The Last Woodwose concludes a schools’ outreach project Wonderful Beast has run in partnership with the Association for Suffolk Museums, taking Suffolk primary school children out of classrooms, into woodlands and inspiring creativity and engagement with the natural world, the play having blossomed during a period of intense discussion about loss of habitat and loss of vocabulary surrounding these subjects. HighTide Festival hosts the premiere, followed by a tour over two weeks to woodlands, churches, and a medieval barn. 

Tour dates and venues: September 2019

  • Friday 13 · St John's Church, 35 Church Hill, Saxmundham IP17 1ES · schools’ matinee 1.30pm · public performance 7.30pm
  • Sat 14 & Sun 15 · Kaliwood, Holton, Halesworth IP19 8NQ · 7.30pm
  • Tues 17 & Wed 18 · Staverton Park, Wantisden, Woodbridge IP12 3PF · 7.30pm
  • Thurs 19 & Fri 20 · St Michael’s Church, Framlingham IP13 9BJ · schools' matinee 1.30pm  · public performance 7.30pm
  • Sat 21 & Sun 22 ·West Hill Barn, Brandeston IP13 7AS · 7.30pm
  • Sun 22 ·West Hill Barn, Brandeston IP13 7AS · 3.00pm

See website for full details and to book!

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The Last Woodwose - Framlingham
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