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The Word Defiant! At Blickling Hall

The Word Defiant!

Trust New Art Exhibition.

Opening tomorrow (Tuesday 1st May) at National Trust Blickling Hall, an exciting new immersive art experience with award-winning theatre company Les Enfants Terribles

Les Enfants Terribles have been commissioned by the National Trust to create a new immersive art installation that will shine a light on Blickling’s library and the importance of books. Blickling contains one of the most impressive country house libraries in the care of the National Trust and is one of the most significant in England, with over 12,500 volumes. It is currently undergoing a comprehensive five year conservation programme to ensure its survival, after being plagued by damp and death watch beetles for some years.

The Word Defiant! will be an immersive theatrical experience using sound and theatrical design to enable visitors to explore the importance of books, the threat posed to them around the globe and their shifting role and continued relevance in a changing world. A series of installations around the house and out in the garden Temple will tell the story of books that once held significance, but now find themselves superseded by modern technology, those that have been banned, neglected or have become symbolic.


An illustration of The Word Defiant, an installation in the Long Gallery at Blickling Hall


Jo Bosch, the National Trust’s Visitor Experience Manager at Blickling said: “We’re really excited to be working with Les Enfants Terribles. We wanted to offer our visitors a creative new way for reflecting on the importance of books and highlight Blickling’s collection that’s in need of our care. The temporary experience, which will run until October 2018, will be designed to be noticed, create debate and prompt important questions. It certainly makes you question what the world would be like without books!”

Les Enfants Terribles have won multiple awards and are internationally acclaimed for their ground-breaking immersive work. Artistic Director of Les Enfants Terribles Oliver Lansley said: “We are delighted to be working with the National Trust at Blickling Estate to create these visceral immersive installation pieces, which connect Blickling’s renowned library to the stories of book collections and individual volumes around the world. Telling a story is at the heart of everything we do as a company and we are excited to be given the opportunity to tell these relevant and contemporary stories through design in such a historic and significant space.”

This project has been made possible by the support of Arts Council England, through Trust New Art – a contemporary arts programme inspired by National Trust places.

The Word Defiant! will be unveiled on 1st May, and will be open daily from 12-5pm until 28th October 2018. Come and see for yourself how this story is brought to life.