Bec Applebee

The Bogus

By Nick Darke

During my time with Kneehigh I had the privilege of working with Nick Darke one of Cornwalls greatest playwrights.
He became a close friend and is sorely missed.

The Bogus was one of Nick’s first shows with Kneehigh theatre and this was one of the plays first incarnations, it was later rewritten as the play Koyt. Nick wrote brilliantly for women and in this production I played Alice a dynamite wielding, feisty young woman, looking for revenge.

Peer Gynt

This was my first touring production with Kneehigh.

The show was based on Ibsen’s play Peer Gynt. It was devised by the company and directed by Bill Mitchell, Mike Shepard and Will Colman. We used a combination of mask work, physical theatre, story telling with music by Jim Carey.

This was an outdoor show that toured Cornwall, the Southwest and Holland.

Ghost Nets

A landscape theatre drama and spectacle at the mouth of the Red River, Godrevy.

Fifteen performances were played to audiences of 200, who walked around the site, led by the action. Passengers on Cloudnine airways travelled first class, packaged and pampered by their glamorous hostesses, and arrived at a sun and fun-filled destination, only to discover that their paradise island was under threat.

A team of young volunteers worked with a Kneehigh team and sculptor David Kemp to create the sculptures, costumes and epic performance, using the landscape and the debris to be found in it as a source of material.

The Old Man With Enormous Wings

Three Island project (The birth of the company)

Based on the short story by Gabrielle Garcia Marquez that deals with issues of a small community affected by change.
The project took place in three locations. Malta , Cyprus and Hayle in Cornwall. The show was adapted to each location. Working with Artists , Actors, Musicians and Singers from all three countries. It was a truly international project.

Each place that we worked had it’s own challenges. In 2004 the project went to Cyprus and the company were given permission to work in a derelict taverna on the Green line, a buffer between the Turkish and Greek Cypriot communities. Amazingly the company were able to bring Artists from both sides of the boarder to this neutral zone. Creatives that had not been allowed to meet before. It was an emotional and powerful experience of human connection.

We used a newly invented language, music from all three countries and combined traditional dances of the sea bringing and taking away. Communities across the world are unique but often share variations of the same story. This is how we approached the project, exploring a ready-made world its own story, geography, trades, political issues and people but we realised they were not so very different. Most poignantly we found this in Cyprus (2004) when we brought Turkish and Greek Cypriots together to collaborate as audience, participant and performer.


Cornish sporting treasures on a world stage

Kernocopia was a pioneering partnership between Cornwall’s sporting, cultural, arts and heritage communities to celebrate the 2012 London Olympics. It was the first time these cultural forms had worked together with a singular goal – to interpret Cornwall’s sporting stories and roll them out on a global stage.

Funded by Cornwall Council, CDC, Eden Project and Feast, the project was Cornwall’s official submission to the Cultural Olympiad, but being Cornish, it was offbeat. Golden Tree Productions commissioned a team of artists to work with community groups and bring 25 Cornish sporting stories to life. This experiment saw the cross-pollination of wresting, ruby, sailing and rowing with film, song, dance, poetry and theatre.

From Tamar to Land’s End, workshops, residencies and performances took place, along with a schools programme, to help young people learn about their sporting heritage. Kernocopia culminated in a theatrical pop-up performance that took place in venues across the South West during the summer of 2012.

An estimated 6.5k people enjoyed opening celebrations in Weymouth, with the vessel in procession viewed by an enormous 140k people.’


Directed and performed by Will Coleman.

Hal Silvester as Lead Designer/Maker,
Brett Harvey as Performance Director,
Bec Applebee as Performer and Community Engagement Officer
Jim Carey as Musical Director

The team designed and built a ‘wagon-train’ set, which toured iconic locations from cliff-tops to castles across Cornwall.

The company hosted afternoon programmes of ‘cultural offerings’ with local community groups and schools, celebrating Cornish distinctiveness and diversity whilst using the present-day experience of refugees and asylum-seekers to challenge notions of identity.’

The Man Engine

The Largest mechanical puppet ever constructed in Britain, a brainchild of Goldentree productions, The Man Engine is a celebration of Cornish mining history and a demonstration of Cornish ingenuity and engineering.

Built originally to celebrate Cornwall’s Mining World Heritage status this is a project of Epic proportions. During The Man Engine’s first tour he was seen live by 149,000 people far exceeding his target of 7000. This huge mechanical Miner captivated all those who saw him. He is being ressurected and will be touring throughout the U K again throughout 2018

My involvement with the Man Engine is as the Soloist singer and puppeteer. What a treat. This is a physical job pulling ropes and being part of an amazing team of Artists, Engineers, Mechanics, Drivers, Designers and fabulous Volunteers.