Bec Applebee

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.


Ravenheart was an outdoor physical theatre show based on ‘The story of Carmen’ by Bizet.

It was a co-production with the acclaimed Manchester band Inner Sense.
Devised by the company and directed by Bill Mitchell it was a riot of wild music, dance, theatre, passion and fire.

The show started life at The Minack and then toured in outdoor spaces and venues Nationally.

Character played: Carmen

The Wooden Frock

The Guardian review

Fri 6 Feb 2004

If theatre were a box of chocolates, then this co-production between Kneehigh Theatre and BAC would be the champagne truffle in a dark chocolate robe. It is light, scrumptious and has the right tang of bitterness as it slips down. You want to go back for another bite. And I don’t find myself saying that often after two-and-a-half hours in the theatre.

Essentially, it is a variation on the traditional Cinderella story. Instead of a slipper, there is a ring – a far more potent sexual symbol. Except in this case, Mary discovers that if the ring fits you shouldn’t wear it, because her suitor is her own father, who promised his beloved dead wife that he would marry whomever her old wedding ring fitted. There is a wonderful scene when Mary, a little girl dressing up in her mother’s clothes, discovers with increasing horror that she can remove neither coat nor ring. She has, in effect, become her mother.

Emma Rice, responsible for Kneehigh’s The Red Shoes, is the director, and the show has the same simplicity and artfulness. It walks the high wire between tragedy and pantomime. It melds folk and jazz, the blues and country and western. It knows that love is a song, that grief warps us and that innocence is no substitute for experience.

The actors have some of the compulsive, slightly eccentric air in both looks and presence that is so often found in Complicite shows. They convey the impression that they are making up the play as they go along – and the emphasis is very much on play.
The second half needs a little mending, particularly the opening scene, which gives audience and actors the challenge of a new situation and new characters. The geese make up for it. “Live for the moment,” advises one of the characters. This is always in the moment, and the audience is too.

Lyn Gardner