THE WOOD BENEATH THE WORLD

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Client - Leeds City Council.
An immersive journey through the underbelly of Leeds' iconic Town Hall

What we call the beginning is often the end
And to make an end is to make a beginning
The end is where we start from…
We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time

T. S. Eliot Little Gidding V

In winter 2014, Leeds Town Hall officially unveiled ‘The Wood Beneath the World’, where Lord Whitney transformed the series of hidden corridors, cells and crypts beneath one of Leeds’ most iconic buildings in their biggest project to date. Conceptualised, creatively directed, designed, built and produced by Lord Whitney’s dedicated team, the project combines striking set design with immersive theatre to take audiences on an unexpected journey into a world of the forgotten, the surreal and the subconscious. Dense, dark woods had silently taken over, as if growing beneath the city for decades and going unnoticed by those who walked above.

Suspense, excitement, intrigue and wonder. Lord Whitney created and realised the project alongside a carefully curated team of directors, writers, performers, musicians, technicians and designers. Working closely with researchers, psychologists and folklore experts allowed Lord Whitney to develop a world which saw the audience transported into a unexpected landscape. The experience of this momentary disorientation from reality, re-enchanted everyday surroundings, or at least briefly showed them anew.

The Wood Beneath The World is a delightful trip into the dark and eerie underbelly of human imagination, and the primal things that roam in the wild and overgrown spaces of the world. There are places in the woods that are hidden from view, visible to only those who know where to look

For three nights a small number of revellers were guided through a gateway into another world, where they were invited to leave their inhibitions behind. Led by the Lord of Misrule through the secret spaces found within Leeds town hall, the Feast of Fools was an evening of dining, drinking, dancing, and debauchery. Designed to be an event of unexpected pleasures and lavish treats, set within the all-encompassing Wood Beneath the World.

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Photography credits: Lord Whitney, Giles Smith & David Lindsay

Creative Direction, Concept, Art Direction & Set Design

Lord Whitney

Branding & Graphic Deisgn

Passport

Services included;

Concept & Research Development, Creative Direction, Project Management, Team Coordination, Set Design & Build, Prop Sourcing, Music Curation, Event Design