Introducing: Dan Canham’s ‘Ours Was The Fen Country’


Briefly describe for us what your show is about?
The show draws on a series of interviews conducted with people that live in the fenlands of East Anglia. I went out and spoke with people who catch eels, breed horses or manage local museums for a living about what the fens mean to them, how things have changed and what the future holds. The show uses dance, text, design and sound in equal measure to tease out the poetic from the words of those interviewed.

 Is it similar to what you’ve done previously or are you trying something new?
The project has similarities with my previous piece 30 Cecil Street, in that it is concerned with themes of transience, loss and is a continuation of the kind of documentary dance-theatre style I started with that work. However, unlike 30 Cecil Street this piece is a group piece and involves a lot more text, speaking and clear characters.

Describe it for us in three words.
Evocative. Physical. Dredging.

How will it make people feel? / What do you want it to make people think about?
There’s humour in there. There’s some beautiful stuff in there too.

What stage will it be at in its development when we see it in July?
We will have had one day to have got something that was the product of 2 weeks playing around back on its feet. We’ll also be down one performer so it’s a siege-mentality barnstorming-sharing of something at an early stage.

What elements in particular are you looking forward to testing out on Ferment audiences?
Having shown it a few times in the East with a great response, I’m interested to see how people from the other side of the country view some of the strange and wonderful people of the fens.

What are your personal highlights of July’s Ferment Fortnight?
It’s all good stuff but Tom Wainwright’s TIE, Adam Fuller’s To Have and to Hold, Shifts, Bluebeard and If you Decide To Stay have all caught my eye.

A little teaser about Ours Was The Fen Country:


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