In 1971 five actors and
three musicians arrived in Cornwall with their young families to
set up an experimental artistic community and theatre group.
They were based in Trewen, a large
farmhouse in the countryside near Liskeard, and whilst there the commune -
which included many born or brought up in the Americas - grew to well over 30 people.
In the 1970's the theatre
group, called Foots Barn, became known for their parades through the towns
and villages of Cornwall. The parades featured acrobats, jugglers and giant
puppets. Oliver Foot, one of the founders of the group, would shout through
a loudhailer: 'Come and see the giraffe that swims, come and see the amazing
Foots Barn theatre'.
During the last 35
years Footsbarn has performed in India, Russia, USA, South America and
Africa. Indeed, according to The Guardian, Footsbarn is now the most famous
travelling theatre company in the world.
giraffe that swims' is an oral history project, that will culminate in a
publication and exhibition.
cover design based on
drawing by Keith Bruce (1974)