We were were invited by Walk the Plank to co-produce an element of Green Space Dark Skies at the Valley of Rocks in Exmoor in May 2022. We brought together 200 local people, to celebrate this extraordinary place, and to participate in the creation of a series of light images, recorded in film.
Touring for The Whistlers continued, with presentations at the fantastic Wye Valley River Festival and returning to France with presentations at Pessac and Saint Medard as part of the prestigious Festival des Arts in Bordeaux.
We worked with the North Devon Coast Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty to undertake a series of school’s projects, encouraging children to take inspiration from nature. In Flights of Fancy 1, Year 6 pupils from East-The-Water Primary created an audio walk – Where the River Meets the Sea – and an exhibition; In Flights of Fancy 2, Classes 5 and 6 from Hartland Primary created folkloric characters and a promenade performance celebrating habitats that exist in the area.
We launched Stepping Out, a mini festival of art, adventure and entertainment in April 2023. This brings top notch outdoor artists to North Devon, gives us opportunity to present Red Herring performance and to showcase work made with local community groups – in this case East-the-Water Primary School.
In August 2019 we were awarded a commission from Green Carpet to create Whistlers / Les Siffleurs. This investigates the confluence of birdsong, whistling and listening, and was due to be created in 2020 through a series of residencies in four locations across France, Belgium and the UK. Due to Covid-19, this was had to be postponed until 2021.
In 2020 our activities mainly focused on digital & local work. As Artistic Associates of The Burton Art Gallery in Bideford, we were commissioned to curate an element of their Seeds of Hope exhibition and an accompanying video – The Pandemic Stock Exchange Index.
We also created Chronicles of an Infectious Agent, a series of short comic films, following the character of Sars CoV-2 as they grapple with trying to get close to the suspecting public of a small town in North Devon.
The Burton asked us to run the Social DisDance Silent Disco as part of their outdoor programme, which was hailed as their most successful outreach
In 2021 we were some of the first touring artists to venture across the Channel, armed with reams of paperwork and encountering confused border officials. We presented Whistlers / Les Siffleurs in Port-Saint-Louis in the Camargue, in Beauquesne – a small village in the Somme and in Symondsbury – a farm estate outside Bridport in Dorset.
In August 2016 the company moved to Bideford, Devon. Ivan Fabrega stood down and Kim Tilbrook became a new Director, joined in 2019 by Fiona Fraser Smith. The company has 2 strands of work – creative projects in Northern Devon that encourages local people to see familiar places in unfamiliar ways & touring productions.
From May to September 2019, we launched Stepping Out – a programme of work that celebrated the Estuary of the Taw/Torridge Rivers, with three strands of work: creative walks, strolling performance and sound.
We became Associate Artists of the Burton Art Gallery.
In 2013 Paschale set up Red Herring Productions with Ivan Fabraga, to create outdoor theatre shows with social value in Brighton.
Now, There’s a Funny Thing – was a heritage project examining the history of popular entertainment in Brighton from 1960, funded by Heritage Lottery Fund (2013). Red Herring’s Speakers Corner – was an experimental platform for public speaking in Brighton (2013), later developed with Time Wont Wait into Changing Places as community project including training young people in public speaking (2015). Funny Peculiar – was a guided tour of Brighton, celebrating the art of eccentricity (2013-14). We then worked with Time Wont Wait to create bespoke versions of the project in 5 locations across the UK, with substantial community engagement, funded by a Strategic Touring grant from Arts Council England (2015).
Paschale Straiton founded Red Herring to create playfully provocative outdoor theatre shows aiming to reach people who didn’t normally go to theatres or galleries. She worked with Sarah Sansom (Time Won’t Wait) as a producer, who supported the development & touring of: The Séance, a theatrical installation about spiritualism (2006-8) and That’s The Way To Do It, a life sized and political take on the Punch and Judy show commissioned by Without Walls (2009-13). Both shows toured extensively across the UK, including Winchester Hat Fair, Norfolk & Norwich Festival, Greenwich & Docklands International Riverside Festival and Watch This Space at the National Theatre.
Paschale started to develop community engaged work, with opportunities for non-professionals to take part: Red Riding Hood at Enchanted Parks, Saltwell Park (2008), involved the participation of 6 students from the University of Northumbria. Gnome Sweet Gnome involved a residency in Cuddington Village, Buckinghamshire, working with young children and grandparents to create pop up performances within their village fete (2009).