Keeping the Park

local residents listing to audio guide

Keeping the Park is an audio tour for Wandle Park which explores how different individuals relate to, care for and think about the park. Bending and borrowing the conventional form of the tourist’s audio tour, Present Attempt created a bespoke experience in collaboration with local residents and park users. Following support from a Merton Arts Development Grant the tour is now available permanently in the Donald Hope Library and on Merton Council’s website as a download.

The project was originally commissioned for Away Day, a site specific art festival that took place in the borough of Merton in May 2010. Four months earlier on a frozen February morning, Present Attempt took their first steps around Wandle Park. After that initial encounter with the park we spent time walking in and around the green spaces of Colliers Wood, performing repeated visits to the park, whilst meeting with people living in the local area. All the way along these walks and talks we recorded conversations, stories, impressions and specific memories vested in these common grounds. With the resulting material we made this audio tour for Wandle Park – a unique snapshot of the park and its users in 2010.

The people who originally guided us around the parks and green spaces of Colliers Wood, during winter and spring 2010 are the voices you will hear on the audio tour. We would like to thank all the people who generously gave their time to take part in the creation of this piece. We would also like to thank POST Artists and the team at Merton Council for commissioning the project for Away Day, and the installation of the audio guide at Donald Hope Library.


Alex Eisenberg and John Pinder are collaborating with Kings of England to make “In Eldersfield Chapter One: Elegy for Paul Dirac” which will be in shown in The Pit, The Barbican as part of SPILL Festival 22/23rd April 2011. The show is on as a double bill with I Guess if the Stage Exploded… by Sylvia Rimat.To find out more and book tickets go here.

In Eldersfield is a ten-chapter cycle of works for the twentieth century, to which we are no longer beholden but will always belong. Against a culture of lessening means and receding hopes, we raise the toast (again): to Dead Dogs, Dead Children, Dead Lovers, Dead Heroes, and how good it is to be alive. Broadening our concern for lost histories and unsayable things, we present an historical epic of open questions and long silences, in a quiet refusal to mean.

“In Eldersfield” is an ambitious work that seeks to develop a model of long-term commitment to social and cultural memory as a field of aesthetic, philosophical and political action, examining how pasts and futures are remembered and imagined in the event of live performance.

The First Chapter:

In ‘Chapter 1: Elegy for Paul Dirac’ we stage a few scenes from the life of Paul Dirac, Nobel Prize-winning physicist, aesthetician and redeemer. Dirac inherited a field of enquiry from Einstein and others and revolutionised our understanding of the material world and its mechanics, although he is barely known outside of his field.

This first Chapter invites audiences into a dialogue on hope and expectation, in a play of languages, translations, speech and silence. In order to reconsider live performance and the critical discourse it could inspire (now and in the future) “Elegy…”  explores the constancies of loyalty, responsibility and redemption, examining some lessons from a life lived in a time radically different from our own, opening up a field of unknown, unseen, unheard-of histories.

The Cast:

Rhinannon Armstong is to play Albert Einstein

Simon Bowes is to play Felix Dirac

Max Burger is to play Peter Kapitza

Alex Eisenberg is to play Werner Heisenberg

Bryony Kimmings is to play The Parrot That Thinks


John Pinder is to play Paul Dirac.

  • Present Attempt is a collective of artists making experimental theatre, performance and live art. We like now...