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The Floods

Plan B

On 17 November 2010, the day that State of Nature was due to open, severe flooding hit the St Austell area of Cornwall - including the Eden Project. Acting swiftly, the production team managed to find alternative venues whilst Eden repaired the damage to their site.

THE SHOW MUST GO ON! ‘State of Nature’ goes ahead despite flooding

The resilient cast and crew of a play intended for the Eden Project this week are carrying on with their work despite being cut off by two landslides on Wednesday. After flash floods enveloped southern Cornwall, St Austell and Par and the surrounding area suffered terrible damage, not only to property; but in some cases threatening lives.

After a year of planning and four weeks’ rehearsal, the cast and crew of the play ‘State of Nature’ by Simon Turley were looking forward to the opening night. Suddenly, it had to be cancelled as the Eden Project was hit by a momentous rainfall. Despite this, the team will not be deterred by the extreme weather conditions. Matching the resilience of the local inhabitants, who are already picking themselves up after this shock flooding, the members of the Theatrescience company have decided that the show must go on, despite all the challenges that lie ahead.

The producer, Rebecca Gould, explains ‘We woke up on the morning of Wednesday the 17th to discover that Eden had been flooded overnight, and that from our vantage point on the top of the hill (forward planning), our little bit of Cornwall was a lake!’ Despite this, Rebecca Gould was adamant that it shouldn’t be a cancellation of the play run, but simply a delay. Instead of giving up, the cast and crew have relocated their entire Saturday programme of events (which should have been an all-day launch event) to the Lost Gardens of Heligan, working tirelessly to set up the launch in a few days; an event which had originally took many weeks to organise.

“We know that many people have had a much tougher time than us as a result of the floods,” says project manager Mel Scaffold, “but I suppose we wanted to be a part of that spirit of recovery and survival despite all odds. We’re all pulling together here to get the job done and it’s a great thing to see.”

- Press release on the Theatrescience website: Posted 19 November 2010; Accessed January 2011
Daisy Gladstone gives a precis of the emergency planning operation:

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