Performance of Between Beacon and Shaft

War & Peace

Entre Phare et Shaft/Between Beacon and Shaft, a Compagnie Par le mot ! production,  was performed by Nicolette Picheral and Dover-based electric guitarist Colin Hinds, under the direction of Stéphane Vérité, in Dover’s Drop Redoubt and Grand Shaft on 28 and 29 September.

Nicolette and her team, which includes Christian on sound, arrived on Thursday with stools, lighting equipment and anything else needed for the performance and were joined by DAD team Clare, Joanna, Edda, Claire, Dominic and Miles, and Phil, Paul and Mick from the Western Heights Preservation Society. Together the equipment was taken to Caponnier 3 – this involved several trips up and down long flights of steps. By the end of the weekend after reversing the procedure, Paul said he wanted new knees and Clare could have done with new hips.

Rehearsals took place on Friday 27th.

Despite the difficulty of finding the deliberately hidden venue, at least 60 people found their way to the Drop Redoubt and were treated to a rich metaphorical telling of stories reflecting on borders, barriers, boundaries, particularly maritime borders and straits, of which The Strait of Dover is one, and the visible marker of the point where land and sea touch – the Lighthouse.

Everyone assembled on the Parade Ground inside the Fort and the performance then started in one of the Casemates. Nicolette led everyone down to Caponnier 3 for the main part of the peformance, which ended with everyone following Colin to the Grand Shaft and down the unique triple helix staircase.

Here are a few audience quotes:

  • …captivating stories accompanied by a beautifully played and beautifully judged soundscape
  • … very thought provoking and presented in a different way from what we were expecting. However both of us quickly got into the unusual mode of the event and greatly enjoyed it. We have discussed it several times since. 
  • Just to say how much we enjoyed the event on Sunday – the memory of sitting in the drop redoubt listening to the dream like poetry and music will stay with me. Thank you.
  • I wish I had come to the Saturday performance so that I could have come again to the Sunday one.
  • Back in Paris with beautiful images in my head: powerful and quiet Drop Redoudt, the sea from the sky (hills), white cliffs and our caponier / cathedral …Thousand thanks for your enthusiastic and perfect organization !

Click here to watch a Video by Miles Umney.

Photos by Mikes Umney Copyright the artist.

Entre Phare et Shaft/Between Beacon and Shaft is a Dunkerque Regional Capital of Culture 2013 event.