Plen an Gwari, a new project uncovering and celebrating the ‘lost’ theatrical rounds of Cornwall was launched at St Just Plen-an-Gwarry last Saturday.
A huge map of the Duchy was staked out across the ancient monument and then members of the public were invited to place hula-hoops in each of the locations where Plen-an-Gwari are believed to have existed.
Project director, Will Coleman of Golden Tree Productions said “Many people know about the two famous amphitheatres that still exist, that is, the Piran Round and the one here at St Just, but, Rod Lyon, former Grand Bard of the Cornish Gorsedd has found Plen-an-Gwari clues at more than 30 places from St Mabyn to St Buryan.
"Now, thanks to a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund we are going to work with schools, colleges and local communities to uncover and celebrate as many of these sites as possible.”
The launch event featured a ‘scratch’ performance of exerpts from several medieval Cornish texts by Theatre students from Falmouth University, including the opening of the ‘Ordinalia’, believed to be the earliest play script in Britain.
A brand new Plen-an-Gwari app was also trialled, by those with smart phones, which, when fully-developed will help people discover more at each location.
A proper Cornish cream tea was served in the Plen Project’s brand new backstage eco-building, ‘the Knut’, where the public were treated to a showing of their documentary film about the history of St Just's 'plen', and also extracts from a film made of the spectacular re-enactment of the ‘Ordinalia’ staged in St Just in 2004. The Knut will have its own public opening event on Sunday, March 25 from 2-6pm.