What is The Trench Bodmin?

The Trench Bodmin has been described as ‘large scale outdoor immersive theatre’ - but it’s so much more than the sum of its parts.  Read on to find out what to expect…

 

The Trench at Levant, 2016: Image courtesy of The Cornishman. 

 

 

More than ‘just a play’

 

The Trench is set to commemorate the men of Bodmin and further afield who gave their lives during the First World War, but also to honour the sacrifices made by those who survived, and perhaps came back to find their lives forever altered by the war. Putting you, the audience, at the forefront of the experience allows you to place yourself in their shoes, identify with an individual and discover his story as the drama unfolds.

 

Three atmospheric Bodmin venues:

 

Bodmin Keep is the historic home of the Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry, and current home of Cornwall’s Regimental Museum. You will ‘Enlist’ here, just as some of the men of Cornwall did one hundred years ago.  You will be given the identity of a local soldier and kitted out with items which will (hopefully!) help you to survive The Trench at Bodmin.

 

Before the main experience, watch one of four specially commissioned short plays, taking place on consecutive days in the usually off-limits attics of Bodmin Keep. The performances will focus on the experiences of people living in Bodmin during the war, and will be performed by a combination of professional and community actors, directed by Collective Arts Ltd. Due to the intimate nature of the venue, these plays will be limited to small audiences, and promise to be full of atmosphere, fire and charm in equal measure.  The four short plays can be booked separately from the main Trench experience, so don’t miss them!

 

 

Once kitted out and given an identity, your experience will continue with a march over the road, to Bodmin & Wenford Railway.  Rations will be issued if booked in advance, followed by an atmospheric journey on a heritage engine, taking you to meet your fate in The Trench.

Bodmin Railway is said to have been built to service the Keep in its Victorian heyday, and was undoubtedly very busy during the First World War, transporting troops to and from the barracks for training, medicals and enlistment, not to mention the regular commuters and passengers.

 

The Trench at Levant, 2016: Image courtesy of The Cornishman. 

 

A specially made Trench, built with kind permission of The Lanhydrock Estate Company, will provide all you need for this immersive theatrical experience - although you will find little comfort here as you experience a taster of what trench life may have been like for those a hundred years ago. Look out for the authentic field hospital and team of nurses, and hope you won’t have to pay them a visit.

 

 

Once the action dies down, make your return by rail to Bodmin Keep and discover your fate. View the museum exhibition at Cornwall's Regimental Museum and learn about the real men who fought, triumphed and were killed: their families, their actions, their lives – and their deaths.

 

 

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