Enriching lives, connecting communities

Illuminating Dark Nights

New Carnival Company lit up the dark November night last Saturday (November 16) with a spectacular presentation of Dark Nights at the Villa. More than 500 people came along to this free community event, which began with a magical illuminated parade from Brading Primary School to Brading Roman Villa and was followed by a fairy tale pageant performed in the Villa’s grounds. NCC hosted community workshops before the event where participants learned how to make banners, Roman-style lanterns and giant puppets for the night.

The pageant’s script was written by local schools and community groups, and led by local storyteller Sue Bailey, who also narrated the tale at Dark Nights. It was inspired by the famous Roman mosaics of the Villa, and characters in the pageant included Medusa, Bacchus, Orpheus and the inimitable Cockerel-headed man. Additionally, bringing the show to life with choreographed dancing, music and performance were Brading and Oakfield Primary schools, Raw Samba, IW College performing arts students, Theatre Train and other members of the community.

Frankie Goldspink, creative director at the New Carnival Company said, “We were overwhelmed by the very positive school and community response to this new creative project. So many people have learned about the heritage of Brading and the Roman Villa and then applied that new found knowledge into working together to produce this new and exciting night-time outdoor arts event.”

Dark Nights is part of the East Wight Landscape partnerships ‘Down to the Coast’ project, which aims to engage local people in the understanding and celebration of their local landscapes and heritage.
NCC will be exhibiting their giant Dark Nights puppets along with information and photos from the event at Brading Roman Villa from this Friday November 22 until Christmas.

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