It’s not often I get a trip out totally wrong. But in future I really must read things properly instead of glancing at them before just booking. The Canopy of Stars performance by Whispering Wood Folk at Evenley Wood Garden turned out to be totally different to what I’d taken it to be. I’d not read about it being a proper immersive show, but presumed we’d just wander along ourselves and see what was around. I should know better really.
I should also have made sure N was going with his dad and wasn’t coming with me. I’d presumed he’d be elsewhere although got him a ticket just in case. Oh well, I thought the aerial show was worth watching just for that, especially in a pretty woodland setting.
Thankfully the weather held out while we were out in the woods. We went earlier in the year to see the snowdrops – in future I’ll just find a friend who wants a chat or to do some photography, and maybe only take N if he’s a friend to wander along with.
Evenley Wood Garden is a beautiful area of woodland and flowers (when they’re out), with events through the year, and times when specific flowers are out that you can visit and enjoy. It’s a beautiful setting and not too ‘wood’ like for me (it’s not got lots of ferns and creepy noises under them!) .
We stopped for a hot chocolate (new different cafe that had extremely slow service compared to previously) and cake before the start of the show and we were led off by the story teller.
Canopy of Stars show
The Canopy of Stars show was performed by the Wild woodland folk, a group of 5 performers. Including a musician, story tellers and 3 dancers and aerialists. They moved through the wood with 3 stories and an aerial performance to end the show.
The first part was where N was put off straight away with the child puppet. It was very clever how they moved the girl through her story with music and dance, before we were moved onto the next area.
The story teller managed to get some of the children to interact and in the third area, the audience were asked to provide things for ‘our’ story to be told, easily thought up on the spot by the story teller. Obviously unicorns and princesses were suggested, as well as dinosaurs. Who knew unicorns and Tyrannosaurus Rex may have had a thing in those woods!
Through the performance the music and stories were woven through with the acting, and dance. With several including a silks performance and hoop. N was scornful that they weren’t actually hanging from the trees like monkeys – I’d obviously communicated the concept of aerial performers not quite accurately to him. They were definitely high up a pine tree in the final performance.
N was bored unfortunately. I don’t think he could get past that to see how beautiful the aerial work was. A couple of other children were talking in front of us (similar age girls) saying they were bored during one of the story spots too – I think it was just too long in some places for kids.
Younger children seemed enraptured. Maybe it was better for younger children. The puppet made it a bit young for N’s age, maybe he needed something more flashy than the calm story this was. Or maybe he’s just a bored child who fidgets and hates standing still for too long.
There were plenty of adults there without children too. But I think overall it was more for under 5s in terms of the story. I’d have just liked to have seen more dance and aerial displays without the story parts.
It was a beautiful setting to see the aerial performers in though. Usually you see them in big halls or theatres, and it’s something else to see out in nature.
I’ll definitely be heading back to Evenley Wood Garden for more floral photography trails at specific times of the year, but maybe not for more shows like this. And I don’t think I’ll ever be taking N to see Cirque du Soleil.
Have you ever been to anything similar?