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Vic Reeves brings a touch of surrealism to this year’s Illuminating York festival

Andrew Brister 18 September 2012
Vic Reeves brings a touch of surrealism to this year’s Illuminating York festival

The York Museum Gardens will be transformed into a ten acre magical wonderland later this Autumn for the return of Illuminating York. Vic Reeves is part of the creative team. Old world meets new, as the hauntingly beautiful ruins of St Mary’s Abbey (more recently the backdrop for the York Mystery Plays), the stunning facade of the Yorkshire Museum and part of the City Walls provide the backgrounds to three large scale cutting edge projections in this year’s Illuminating York festival. Wednesday 31 October – Saturday 3 November are the dates for what will be York’s largest Illuminating York Festival yet, with Vic Reeves given a free reign to unleash his absurd and magical creations in the centre of York. 2012 is a big year for York which is celebrating York 800, the anniversary of the City’s Charter which gave it independence to take charge of its own financial affairs, to trade freely and ultimately to govern itself. Illuminating York will be joining the year-long celebrations by granting Vic Reeves and partners Bright White, Chetwoods and Arup the freedom to take over the Museum Gardens to create their own Wonderland. Inspired by absurdist works such as Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, they are creating a new world that turns the expected upside down and revels in the beauty of the unexpected. As well as three large scale projections, the botanical gardens will also be brought to magical life using innovative lighting around trees and plants. This has been made possible with a new partnership with Blackpool Council who have allowed the creative team to borrow many core items from their enormous store of lighting technology. Councillor Sonja Crisp, Leisure, Culture and Social Inclusion said: "The scale and ambition of this year’s festival will be truly spectacular. We have never attempted anything this big before and after seeing the plans I can’t wait to see the gardens transformed into a magical and surreal experience right here in the centre of York.” Chris Walker from Bright White said: "Illuminating York 2012 has given us a unique opportunity to explore the role that absurd art plays in our lives, and to create an enchanted space with lighting that will define the Museum Gardens space at night – a first for the City. The work of Vic Reeves is a perfect match for this absurd world, what’s so great about being serious anyway? It was titled Wonderland in tribute to Lewis Carroll, the creator of Alice in Wonderland, a masterpiece of absurd storytelling." www.illuminatingyork.org

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