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The Great Rinsing - site-specific community theatre in a pump house

  • Date: 24 June 2011
  • Area: South West
Wimborne Rinsing

Wimborne Rinsing. Credit: Wimborne Community Theatre

Wimborne Community Theatre's new production is set in a pump house. The show celebrates 20 years of making site specific theatre in East Dorset. The Great Rinsing combines live performance with film and sound and has been created specially for Wimborne's Pump House, a Victorian industrial building, owned by Sembcorp Bournemouth Water.

Wimborne Community Theatre has created 19 productions since 1991, all in outdoor and non-theatre buildings. This year, a Grants for the arts award allowed WCT to invite Jonathan Petherbridge, director of Bubble Theatre, to work with the group over the last year and to devise and direct the shows.

Jonathan Petherbridge says:
'Working with a core group of established community theatre makers plus young people and artists all drawn from the local area - the whole team working towards animating this fantastic and significant local building is a great journey. Everyone is enjoying taking on the challenge of working in new ways (including me), and I have a hunch the result is going to be stunning.'

Musician Karen Wimhurst has worked with music students at Queen Elizabeth Comprehensive School, performer Lee Hart has worked with Oakmead College of Technology, and theatre practitioner Tony Horitz (co-founder of WCT and co-director of the show) has worked with the drama club at Allenbourn School, as well as members of WCT whose ages range from 5-86 years.

The Great Rinsing has been designed by theatre designer Pip Nash, working with students studying Costume for Performance at Arts University College Bournemouth, supported by Caroline Parrott, education officer at Walford Mill Crafts where community workshops have been held.

Three of the artists creating music, sound and film installations were involved as small children in WCT's first shows. Now in their late twenties, they return to make their own work as part of the show, showing long term impact on members.

The story of The Great Rinsing evolved from WCT's creative research and devising sessions. Set in a future where water is a sought after luxury, two children search the chasms and passageways of a derelict museum of water to quench their thirst, and the audience goes with them to hear ancient stories and memories contained within water.

Roger Harrington, Sembcorp's Managing Director, added: 'Our pump house in Wimborne is a grand old Victorian building which has been part of the local water supply for over 100 years. It is great that the local community may gather in it from time to time to take part in and watch the performing arts, especially if there is a watery theme. We're pleased to be able to help facilitate this'.

The performances take place from 1 to 9 July, and tickets are available from the box office on 01202 888992.