Sunday, 28 June 2009


Photo: Bruce Liron

With 512 people attending over the first three days, My Family and Other Stories has proved to be a tiny experiment in theatre, alfresco, storytelling and keeper-acting.

It is almost conservation-fringe.

This was perhaps crystalised yesterday when we met Rebecca from Sydney, the research and conservation director from Taronga Conservation Society, Australia. She was on a trip with her husband who had been a keeper at Durrell in the very early seventies.

Rebecca saw five of the pieces and was intrigued at how honest, uncomplicated, 21st. century, and keeper-like, our storytellers were.

She thought Janette, Yildiz, Jack and William had created an incredible ensemble and, like me, was impressed - not that anything is about contriving impressiveness - at everyone's ability to communicate the conservation elements in a hugely accessible way with theatre.

Theatre is certainly a force.

An exciting conversation thus ensued about exclusivity and inclusivity in arts and business and how the two can co-exist simultaneously. Though, of course, the latter is preferred...

A grey, cloudy start to the day, which might have necessitated going indoors, but we went with the weather forecast and remained outside to be sun-drenched instead.


The pieces were hugely relaxed, fluid, had settled a little more - with some poignant new improvised moments - and were even more confident.

This shift in gear created something quite engaging and dynamic in the inside/outside storytelling arena at Durrell.

But from one world premiere last week to another this week...

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