In The Woods festival 2012

In The Woods is a small, secretive festival which takes place across a day and a night in the woodlands of Kent. So small and secretive in fact, that I didn’t even know of its existence until I received an unexpected invitation to perform on the Spoken Word stage…

And so, yesterday’s line-up (15.30 – 21.00) was as follows:

  • Dion Troubadour Power
  • Charlie Dupre
  • Dorothy Fryd and Richard Navarro
  • Juha Virtanen
  • Richard Dadd (that’s me)
  • Indigo Williams

I’d like to extend my thanks to organiser Richard Navarro, who remembered me from seeing one of my Canterbury performances several years ago.

For my slot (7.30-8pm) I performed a brand new short story ‘The Diary’ about an introspective diarist who receives an unwanted tirade of attention, with comic consequences. My audience sat on hay bales, the arena a small clearing between trees hung with lights and interspersed with art installations and flowers.

It was a pleasure to be involved, especially in such a unique and atmospheric setting. Due to noise restrictions, festival-goers were handed wireless headphones, meaning that my microphone fed into people’s ears rather than out of speakers. The same went for the silent disco, the cinema tent, even some of the acoustic music. This created a certain intimacy, and allowed people to set their own sound levels. This also had the advantage of allowing me to tell exactly how I sounded over the mic, because I could hear it back in my own headphones – a sensation similar to an outdoor studio recording, only with the benefit of a live audience.

Some festival highlights for me included the thought-provoking and relevant poetry of Indigo Williams;┬áthe minimalist yet effective musical accompaniment to Dorothy Fryd; the happy dancing man in a kaftan; and sitting in the Whirlygig Cinema tent, watching the short films scheduled into the early hours of the morning, where the projectionist declared this to be his favourite film of all time…

My thanks to Richard Navarro and the organisers of In The Woods 2012.


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  1. That’s fantastic news! Well done Rich – given the secrecy of the festival, i doubt they’ll be any recordings knocking around of your performance…or am i wrong? Would love to watch it. Sadly, i can’t say the same about ‘stompy the bear’. He can fuck off.

    • Cheers Al. No recordings I’m afraid. Although, seeing as it was a short story with no deviation from the text, there’s no reason why I couldn’t repeat this performance, or reproduce the text elsewhere, maybe in another form – who knows? Albeit without the unique grotto-like atmosphere of “In The Woods.”

      I’m keen to continue in this vein of writing and performing prose. I greatly enjoy it.

      The story was specially-written for “In The Woods” but it could be adapted to fit other venues, I suppose. Or even better, I could just keep writing new stories for new events/venues!

  2. Geodaddi

    In The Woods looks amazing… although I think the bear may give me nightmares.

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