Families in Teesdale can explore the secret world of creepy crawlies in a free interactive theatre show thanks to the North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) Partnership.
There will be two special performances of ‘Six Legs’ in Teesdale, to launch a celebratory year of invertebrate inspired events. Six Legs was developed by the Cap-a-Pie Theatre Company with insect scientist Dr Vivek Nityananda from Newcastle University. The North Pennines version of the lively and engaging play, which brings to life the secret stories of insects which live in the North Pennines, was commissioned in 2018 by the AONB Partnership’s Cold-blooded and Spineless project.
On Sunday 19 May there will be two free performances at the TCR Hub in Barnard Castle. The show, aimed at primary aged children, complements an arts and science education programme taking place in Middleton and Forest-in-Teesdale primary schools. A bug hunt in the grounds will take place straight after the shows, encouraging adults to share in the experience of learning about why bugs are brilliant too.
Samantha Tranter, the North Pennines AONB Partnership’s Cold-blooded and Spineless Project Officer, said: “We’re excited to be working again with Cap-a-Pie to bring ‘Six Legs’ to Teesdale and sharing the stories of these valuable insects, and it is a great chance for mums and dads to take part in the fun too. The TCR Hub in Barnard Castle is the perfect place to connect the wider community with our project’s aspiration for everyone to embrace invertebrate conservation.
“We hope everyone who takes part in the shows leaves wanting to find and see insects, as well as having an understanding of what makes the North Pennines such an important and unique place for invertebrates.”
Cap-a-Pie’s Artistic Director Brad McCormick said: “Six Legs reveals a secret world that’s all around us – the world of insects. Create a magical garden and the insects might just come out to play. They’ll tell you their stories, show you their world and teach you how to see like they see, hear like they hear, and smell like they smell.
There are 30,000 different species of invertebrate in the UK. According to the State of Nature report, 66% of invertebrates studied in the uplands have declined in the last 50 years. Yet for many species there is insufficient data to predict population health. Invertebrates are underappreciated for their contribution to the function of our ecosystems, from soil nutrient cycling to pest control and pollination. Many invertebrates are a vital food source for all types of birds, fish and mammals.
The ’Sig Legs’ performances will take place at 11am and 2pm on Sunday 19 May at the TCR Hub in Barnard Castle. Booking is essential and can be made online at www.northpennines.org.uk/events Cold-blooded and Spineless has been funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund, and runs until the end of 2019.