Site-specific theatre


I have provided sound art contributions to a number of site-specific theatre pieces, developed by Wimborne Community Theatre. This is a remarkable organisation – an entirely community-based theatre that produces often quite challenging performances exploring local places and histories. My contributions have generally addressed ecological themes, focusing on the relationship between local communities and the environments in which they live. This work has involved a series of commissions and provision of collaborative workshops working with the cast to develop the pieces, as well as involvement in performances. Further details at

By Hook or by Crook. During the summer of 2004, Wimborne Community Theatre performed a play in a local woodland, Holt Forest, based on local stories and histories about the wood. A site-specific installation was installed featuring sounds made by wildlife and excerpts from local stories. In addition a soundscape composition was produced featuring sounds recorded as the play was developed and performed, providing both a documentary account of the Holt Forest Project, and an insight into how people relate to a woodland environment close to where they live. Recordings made as part of the project were featured in an installation at Walford Mill, Wimborne, later in the year. Click here for more details.

Grist to the Mill. Performances took place in White Mill, an old watermill on the river Stour near Sturminster Marshall, Dorset, now owned by the National Trust. Recordings of a working watermill (Alderholt) were performed live, and diffused over a multi-speaker system within White Mill as part of the performance.

The Lie of the Land. July 2006. The piece featured poetry and sounds of electricity, and was performed on a multi-speaker array under an electricity pylon in Pamphill, Dorset, as part of the theatre piece.

Enquire within. December 2007. Sound installation in a town house in Wimborne, Dorset, as part of the theatre performance. The piece featured extracts of the book ‘Enquire within upon everything’, a kind of Victorian precursor to the World Wide Web, which was also invented locally (according to local tradition).

Source. 2010. A project at Wimborne’s Pump House, an evening of outpourings and distillations, featuring storytelling, movement, music, sound and song, set in part of this Victorian industrial building. The event was programmed as part of: Sting in the Tail Festival (August 29) and Dorset Architectural Heritage Week (September 11). Contributions included live electronic performance and sound processing.

The Great Rinsing. July 2011. Major multi-media performance, held in a Victorian pumping station on the edge of Wimborne. Contributions included live electronic performance and sound processing of environmental sound, and construction of an installation featuring vocal sounds resonating elements of the performance space.

Anthem for Old Road 2016, site specific sound installation, focusing on local histories relating to WW1, and incorporating a poetry performance

What they left behind 2016, contribution of soundscape focusing on local histories relating to WW1, performed as part of Wimborne Community Theatre event.

By the way – sounds in a common wood 2018, focusing on Leigh Common, Wimborne; involved construction of two soundscape pieces that were broadcast on radio headphones, as part of a site-specific performance. The idea was to produce an immersive sonic experience, featuring sounds characteristic of the place drawn from both the past and the present. Recordings of woodlands on the site were combined with poems about woods, and spoken performances by cast members, which explore how Leigh Common has been used and valued by people in different ways over time. Sound files available here.