For two weeks in September 2021, at the historic Plen an Gwari site in St Just, we are holding open air repertory performances of all three Ordinalia plays - with an opportunity for festival ticket holders to join in with Cornish language, dancing and sea songs sessions, watch Cornish wrestling exhibitions, listen to the history of St Just's Plen an Gwari, and wander along town trails and heritage walks .
Under the autumn sunsets and the dark skies of West Cornwall, we are creating a true celebration of Cornish cultural life. Our funded project has already started with a series of exhibitions and taster sessions, to coincide with the loan of the Bodleian Ordinalia manuscripts to Kresen Kernow, Cornwall's new archive centre.
The Ordinalia play texts represent a Cornish heritage that has survived the Reformation and the destruction of the magnificent college at Glasney which created them; the whims of erratic kings and queens, the very Church itself, political rivalry and puritanical governments, rebellions, civil wars, world wars, and the loss of all but two of the playing places they were created for. In all their long history, nothing and no one has managed to suppress and stifle these plays, which can still speak to and move modern audiences.
As part of our legacy to enable the Ordinalia to be performed in St Just every three to four years as a permanent event on the Cornish cultural calendar, we will be storing and preserving our costumes, sets and equipment, and maintaining a complete blueprint and archive of activities .
We have assembled a company of professionals, semi-professionals and talented volunteers who are creating a community led production in an historic setting. The core group of people who were involved with the 2000 - 2004 productions are helping to lead the project, and to build upon and transfer experience and expertise to a new generation. We have opportunities for work shadow, paid and volunteer roles with our exciting project.
The legacy of our productions will benefit schools, the community, the Cornish language, tourism and will showcase the talents of the many participants who work with us.