Headlands @ the Cambridge Festival of Ideas
Saturday 22 October: 7:00pm – 8:00pm
Judith E Wilson Drama Studio, Faculty of English, 9 West Road, Cambridge.
Following on from their exhibition in the Faculty of English earlier this year, Yvonne Salmon and James Riley present Headlands as a live event as part of the 2016 Cambridge Festival of Ideas. Headlands is offered as an ‘experimental lecture’ combining spoken word, video projection and tape recordings.
In 1981 the Cornish village of Port Isaac was used by the BBC as the primary location for their shot-on-video serial The Nightmare Man. Based on David Wiltshire’s novel Child of the Vodyanoi (1978) and produced by the creative team behind Dr. Who, The Nightmare Man was a story of UFOs and experimental flight technology. It combined cold-war paranoia and pulp science fiction with European folklore and haunting shots of the English coastline.
In 1645 Anne Jefferies went to work as a maid for the Pitt family in St. Teath, Cornwall: a hamlet some 5 miles from Port Isaac. Soon after her employment began Jefferies was found in a state of disorientation at the gate of the Pitt house. As Moses Pitt would later describe in a letter to the Bishop of Gloucester, Jefferies recovered from her “fit of convulsion” reporting that she had met and travelled with “airy people, called fairies”. Pitt’s letter is currently recognised as one of England’s earliest accounts of a ‘fourth kind’ or alien abduction experience.
Using these two events as parallel starting points, Headlands attempts to map out the strange territory where landscape, folklore and fiction intersect. Written and devised by Yvonne Salmon and James Riley, this live event also features possible area (bad timing) and Andy Sharp (English Heretic).
A trailer for the event can be found here: https://vimeo.com/183114048
To book (free) and for further information, please see the Festival of Ideas website: festivalofideas.cam.ac.uk/events/headlands-fairy-folk-ufos
Headlands is an output of the Alchemical Landscape, an on-going research and public engagement project currently hosted at CRASSH: