Explore the Arch tell us about their involvement in the upcoming #ATownExploresABook19 festival 

A Town Explores A Book is back and, in its third year, this most innovative and creative of festivals is bigger than ever, as we mark the tercentenary of the publication of Daniel Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe. Project space Explore the Arch will be hosting 28 performances representing 28 years on an island in their show the House of Crusoe. But the town of St Leonards-on-Sea itself is set to become a central performance area and national destination for this #Crusoe300 exploration during the spring holiday from 4th-22nd April. 

Carol Dennard and Khalil Patwa

At the core of the festival is a searching new enquiry into solitude. ExploreTheArch’s four composers and guest choreographer Yumino Seki will retire with a copy of Robinson Crusoe and Bernard McGuigan’s solitary sculpture series into in a different nook and cranny of The House of Crusoe. Alone. The audience will be given the key.

Experience McGuigan’s evocative sculptures with each performer in solitude. Explore with them as they lay bare their practice, their philosophy and themselves. With over 28 performances of new composition/ choreography, each performer will open up as ExploreTheArch has never attempted before. In this the last of our productions in our Season of the Identity of Things, join us for a very different project in our magical venue.

Fab local bookshops The Bookkeeper, Kings Road, St Leonards and Printed Matter, Queens Road, Hastings are both offering ticket purchase without the online booking fee for The House of Crusoe. Tickets for under19s are free and those who wish to see more than one perfomer may be eligible for a discount – see website for details. Also don’t forget to check out the March programme of book events at Printed Matter too. 

Speaking of bookshops, Carol at the Bookkeeper has closed her doors to reopen Tuesday 12th March, to set sail on a trip to central Europe where she will develop her project for #ATownExploresABook19. We know that the character Robinson Crusoe was half German in heritage but Carol’s keeping details of her research under wraps. She and Khalil Patwa are getting to grips with the fascinating, complicated, contentious author Daniel Defoe to deliver free daily  readings of Defoe’s defining novel in the Bookkeeper during the festival. These readings will be sponsored by The Bavard Bar, which will also be featuring in festivities. 

Oliver Cherer, one of the four composers

While, in a moment of despair, Robinson Crusoe considers himself “Locked up with the eternal bars and bolts of the ocean, in an uninhabited wilderness, without redemption.” Bavard Bar breaks such shackles with three imaginative talks springboarding from Defoe’s novel. Check out this and other #ATownExploresABook events on the what’s on page, updated daily in these final weeks running up to St Leonards on Sea’s most innovative of festivals. atownexploresabook.com/whatson 

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