Abbotsbury, Dorset - June 2021

An immersive theatre and circus adventure around Abbotsbury

I really experienced the beauty and history of Abbotsbury in a way I haven't before. It was a magical setting for a performance. and so great to see something more immersive and interactive!! Great to see so many local people really embracing the process and letting their creative talents shine.

Ondine flows with the water around Abbotsbury, searching for a love that will make her human. But how can a water nymph climb the hill to St Catherine’s Chapel to beg a miracle husband from the saint herself? She needs adventurous souls to go on her quest.

Teatro Vivo invited audiences to enter the legend and explore enchanted Abbotsbury alongside performers from the local community, flying aerialists and unearthly characters.

 Combining the myth of Ondine (the basis for The Little Mermaid) and the legends and tales of St. Catherine’s Chapel in Abbotsbury, audiences followed an enchanted route in small socially distanced groups starting at the main car park in Abbotsbury. On their journey up the hill they met characters, singers, musicians, acrobats and mischievous imps who helped (or hindered) them on the task that Ondine set for them.

A collaboration with Aerialist Charlie Bicknell.


Ondine : Sasha Wilson

St. Catherine : Charlie Bicknell

Earth Spirit : Kas Darley

Frog : Joseph Cullen

Community Participants

Ducks : Declan Duffy, Jessame Coulson, Marianne Henderson

Swans: Raja Jarrah, Rosie Russell

Tree Spirits : Millie Ashford, Geneva Beaufort, Huck Booth, Will Robinson, Casper Sields, Nadia Shopland, Hazel Spencer, Fire Heart Theodosiou

Air Spirits : Isla Brown, Lotti Padwick, Celeste Shields

Starlings: Julie Burton, Sally Collings, Ro Gallagher, Tom Jones, Pat Jones, Dawn Mould, Katy Tunstall, Deborah Winstone

Seagull : Rowan Hedley

Acolytes : Cosmo Booth, Carol Krosnar, Ruth McGill, Jane Stephenson, Amelia Warne

Creative Team

Director : Mark Stevenson

Community Participant Director : Tamsin Fessey

Dramaturg : Vic Bryson

Designer : Pippa Evans

Textiles Artist : Jo Clarke

Costume Volunteers : Jenny Hackett, Denise Rowe

Milliner : Andrew Fishead Hats

Photography : Tim Booth

Event Manager : Cleo Evans

Produced : Kas Darley and Mark Stevenson for Teatro Vivo

Thanks to English Heritage & Illchester Estates, Tina Raymond, Nigel & Sue Melville, Gordon @ Chapel Lane Stores, Mary Pengelly, Nick Parkinson, Adam @adamhawker1, Aquila this_is_ritual_studio, Helen Fisher @go_paint_me, Ash Moran @Macramebybymoran, Amity @starstuff 

Funded by The Dorset Community Foundation