From Stephen to Avenham. Part of the Preston Guild 2012 celebrations.

On the 7, 8 and 9 of September a curious event is stirring in Avenham Park, where a group of outsiders originating from the North of the Netherlands are piecing together Preston’s history and connecting it back to its rural roots in a compelling theatrical production that will unearth lost stories of the land.

From Stephen to Avenham is the creative vision of Dutch location theatre company PeerGrouP and will see a performance that will travel tales down the River Hodder to Avenham Park where it will star as a ‘Made in Preston’ commission as part of the Preston Guild 2012 celebrations.

First aired in a striking and lofty stone barn nestled in the beautiful woodland retreat of Gisburn Forest PeerGrouP’s performance, tenderly grown from the rural landscape and the hearts and minds of the local people, has been a success and they are hoping to repeat their triumph in Avenham Park.

Audiences can expect sound installations high in the trees, captivating performances unravelling the marvels and mysteries of the land and a spectacular digital map in a performance that will interweave the lives of those who are gone and those who live on.
PeerGrouP has been supported by Lancashire-based arts management organisation Culturapedia, who runs Spot On – the Lancashire rural touring network responsible for raising £63k to support PeerGrouP on their creative journey.

The funding has been achieved through Arts Council England, Forest of Bowland AONB (Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty) and £10k seed funding sourced from Preston Guild 2012. The Forestry Commission has been providing invaluable practical support and the rural venue which PeerGrouP will be using as their creative performance space.

Sue Robinson from Spot On said: “This is a truly atmospheric production that has really captured the heritage, history and heart of the land. Join PeerGrouP as they unravel the mystery of the man who hid tobacco tins containing musical notes in stone walls, as they retell tales of the haunted bridge where a ghost child caused cars to crash and the floods that caused inhabitants to evacuate. From Stephen to Avenham is an amazing part of a once in every year happening the Preston Guild 2012 so be sure not to miss it.”

Friday 7th, Saturday 8th and Sunday 9th of September at 12 and 3pm at Ladies Walk, Avenham Park, Preston PR1 8JT.

For more information of the performance, times and tickets please visit:

Follow PeerGrouP on twitter: @fromS2A



Spot On works with volunteers in isolated communities promoting professional theatre, dance, music and children’s shows for everyone to enjoy.

Spot On events are made possible by nearly 300 volunteers across the country who has been delivering arts services in their communities for as long as 16 years.

Note: For making this blog post and also reviewing the performance, we are getting tickets to see From Stephen to Avenham.


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