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Frost of forgetfulness

November 8th 2016

Winter Quest: The Frost of Forgetfulness is part of Winter at Woodhorn, a magical experience for the whole family.

This December, families are invited to set out on a brand new wintry quest at Woodhorn created by award-winning theatre company Unfolding Theatre and visual artist Bethan Maddocks. The Frost of Forgetfulness is creeping across the museum, muddling memories and baffling boffins. Pit canaries sense the danger and need your help to stop the precious stories being lost forever! Your mis-sion is to follow the frosty trail with a birdcage in your hand. Collect clues and solve mysteries for a magical, memorable surprise… 

The annual winter event at Woodhorn is becoming a firm favourite with families, so who better to help decide what to put on than a group of local people? Earlier this year, bait set up a community programme panel to choose a company to create this year’s winter event. After a rigorous selection process, Unfolding Theatre were commissioned to develop the Winter Quest as part of the month-long winter programme at Woodhorn. 

Annie Rigby from Unfolding Theatre says, “We’re having a great time creating a mission to save memories at Woodhorn. After all, that’s what the museum and archives are all about. It has been amazing to see how the mission has captured the imaginations of Woodhorn visitors of all ages, as well as the staff and volunteers. We’re pretty confident that the Frost of Forgetfulness will be banished by their brilliant teamwork!”

Unfolding Theatre’s previous work for young audiences includes Tyneside Time Machine - a fun learning expe-rience exploring Tyneside Cinema’s heritage; Juice Festival parades bringing children’s designs for monsters, dragons and dreams to life as large-scale puppets on NewcastleGateshead’s Quayside; Cutting Loose - working with 12 schools and Durham Brass Festival musicians to create a parade to kick-start a carnival party; and What If? - an interactive performance about curiosity bringing together Durham University scientists with teenagers from a local school. 

Regular visitors will remember Bethan Maddocks’ beautiful Winding Windows installation at the museum last year. Commissioned by bait for Woodhorn Museum's Weekend of Wonder 2015 and created in collaboration with participants from Northumberland, each window told a story relating to the region’s mining heritage. For example The Lights, created with ESCAPE Family Support in Blyth, referenced the 200th anniversary of the in-vention of the Davy lamp and local inventor, Josephs Swan's incandescent lightbulb 135 years ago. The window celebrated the ingenuity of the area, and was a nod to the lights depicted on mining banners that symbol-ise hope for the future.

 Annie Rigby is delighted to be working with Bethan to create a memory box installation for the Winter Quest, “It’s the first time that Unfolding Theatre has collaborated with visual artist, Bethan Maddocks. We loved the Winding Windows artwork and the miner’s canary window, developed with Northern Recovery Partnership, has been one of the inspirations for the Frost of Forgetfulness. I’m really excited to see how the idea continues to develop and grow.” 

People of all ages from across South East Northumberland are taking part, starting with a series of family-friendly craft workshops at Woodhorn in October half term; participants’ stories and designs will be used to inspire the making of a large-scale memory-box for the event. Groups who will work with Bethan Maddocks and the team from Unfolding Theatre to create the Winter Quest include 1st Seaton Hirst Guides, 5th Ashing-ton Brownies, Leading Link in Bedlington and Northumberland Recovery Partnership in Blyth. 

The Frost of Forgetfulness Winter Quest is open Saturday 17 to Friday 23 December from 10am to last entry at 3pm. Admission is free, no advanced booking required. Please allow an hour to complete your quest. The Winter Quest is part of a busy winter programme at Woodhorn, including skating and Meet Father Christmas (weekends from 26 November and every day from 17-23 December, early booking recommended), and the Winter Market (10 & 11 December). For more information or to book tickets for skating or to meet Father Christmas, visit www.experiencewoodhorn.com

ENDS

Listings information:Winter Quest: the Frost of ForgetfulnessSaturday 17 - Friday 23 December, 10am - 3pm (last admission), Woodhorn Museum. FREE ENTRY, no booking required

Set out on a wintry quest for families at Woodhorn this Christmas. The Frost of Forgetfulness is creeping across the museum, muddling memories and baffling boffins. Pit canaries sense the danger and need your help to stop the precious stories being lost forever! Your mission is to follow the frosty trail with a birdcage in your hand. Collect clues and solve mysteries for a magical, memorable surprise…

Meet Father Christmas  Weekends from 26 November and every day from Saturday 17 - Friday 23 December. £8.50 per child, early booking recommended

Visit Father Christmas in his traditionally dressed stable grotto and watch as the children’s faces light up with delight. Write him a letter and post it in the special post box, colour in a picture, enjoy a festive craft activity and then meet Father Christmas to receive a small gift to take home.

Get Your Skates On Weekends from 26 November and every day from Saturday 17 - Friday 23 December 10am – 4pm (last skate 3.30pm) Adults £6.50 / Children £5.50 (up to 12 years old), advance booking recommended

Take a festive spin on the Wonderice rink and enjoy a brilliant skating experience in the historic Pit Yard with its dramatic and unique backdrop. Price is for a 30 minute session (including skate change time) and skate hire. Open to ages 2+. Under 5s must be accompanied by an adult.

Woodhorn’s Winter Market  Saturday 10 & Sunday 11 December, 10am – 4pm FREE ENTRY Enjoy shopping for gorgeous Christmas gifts and special treats at Woodhorn’s Winter Market held inside the historic Workshop Galleries.  

Discover beautiful crafts, delicious local produce and gifts to delight your friends and family from some of the region’s best makers and crafters.

Information and booking: Call 01670 624455 or visit www.experiencewoodhorn.com

Woodhorn Museum, QEII Country Park, Ashington NE63 9YF

Notes to editors:

About bait: This project is supported by bait, part of the national Creative People and Places programme. bait works in partnership to support more people in South East Northumberland to create and take part in inspiring and high quality arts experiences. All projects aim to build a stronger future for the people who live here. www.baittime.to

About Unfolding Theatre: "Thrillingly talented people" Guardian Unfolding Theatre make theatre with a wild sense of humour, strength of character and a delight in bringing people together. Past productions include the award-winning Building Palaces, Best in the World and Lands of Glass. The company tours nationally to theatres and festivals, as well as creating site-specific performances. Participation fuels their creativity - every show sits within a programme of artistically ambitious projects with children, young people and community groups. Their thoughts, ideas and stories are at the heart of the creative process. www.unfoldingtheatre.co.uk

About Bethan Maddocks: Bethan Maddocks is a visual artist based in Newcastle upon Tyne, England, who creates site-specific, kinetic installations. Her work explores the internal movements and interior landscapes of the body. Using a variety of materials that relate to bodily elements, she makes ephemeral installations with the aim to involve the audi-ence with the work. Her practice is underpinned by drawing, sewing, paper cuts and structure making. Educa-tion and facilitation work is a key part of her practice, helping to develop ideas and commissions for new works. www.bethanmaddocks.com