Horse-drawn theatre troupe set for Rye show

The last remaining travelling horse-drawn theatre troupe in the UK rocks up in Rye this month as part of a tour of '˜lost villages.'Â

Saturday, 15th July 2017, 1:00 pm
Updated Thursday, 7th June 2018, 9:39 pm
Sabotage Theatre's Horse-drawn tour of The Looker
Sabotage Theatre's Horse-drawn tour of The Looker

The Sabotage Theatre Company, founded in 2008, plays to isolated and rural communities in Kent and Sussex, walking up to 14 miles a day, living outside and cooking with fires.

Piebald cobs Prince and Buddy pull the stage and set.

Although there are several in the US, Canada and Europe, Sabotage is the only horse-drawn troupe left in the United Kingdom.

‘Lost villages’ or Deserted Medieval Villages, are settlements which have been depopulated or abandoned. There are an estimated 3000 in the UK.

Historian and TV presenter Dr Matthew Green, said: “From the Outer Hebrides to the cliffs of Dover, Britain is peppered with thousands of lost villages, once-thriving rural communities now sunk into grassy or watery oblivion.

“Now, a horse-drawn troupe of players plans to sweep through Sussex and Kent, performing lively plays in ghost villages and resurrecting the rich oral culture that once flourished there.

Zoe Hinks, director, said: “Touring a theatre company by horse in the 21st century is no small task. The roads are often crammed with traffic and drivers aren’t accustomed to horses and strolling players. We’re keeping a tradition alive which dates back hundreds of years. This ties in with the idea of travelling to lost villages.  It’s exciting to re-discover places forgotten by the modern world.”

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