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  • Madeline Shann

Night of the Barghest


I performed in Night of the Barghest for TakeOver Festival '13 on Saturday. Great fun but exhausting. The TakeOver team were incredibly hardworking and had a lot on their plates with cast, companies, ushers, musicians and disorientated audience milling around in the labyrinthine York Brewery. Such a treat to work site-specifically, the space was incredible and York's supernatural history is an embarrassment of riches for stories and ideas.

The audience were very game, and though I got to see very little (I was "comatose" in the Professor's office for most of the time - unless I was dancing down a torchlit staircase with my eyes closed!) I heard some very daring acts of rebellion ("No, I don't think I am going to sign this doctored death certificate, Professor - it seems very unethical"), and some hilarious exchanges. Lying completely still on a table for two hours in a room full of people solving mysteries and cracking jokes is no mean feat. My tongue was bruised from holding it between my teeth to keep from laughing.

It was a bit of a whirlwind romance of a project really - a week choreographing in the studio, another in the space with the cast and creative team, and then just one show. Sad it's over, but I won't miss being alone in the building at night with only Mozart's requiems and mystery noises for company. York's tales of the supernatural are not quite as quaint and laughable after nightfall.

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