This December we’d like to welcome our Christmas Cultural Ambassador, Esther Wilson. Having grown up and studied in Cornwall, Esther is a passionate advocate for the performing arts, having spent her time working and volunteering for many local organisations including Cheap Date Dance Company, Cscape and Miracle Theatre. Alongside completing an event management degree she has been working at Trebah Garden for the past 5 years. Read on to find out more about her experience living and working in Cornwall.
I’m born and bred Cornish, I grew up just outside of Penryn and seem to have never left a 10-mile radius throughout my education. I’ve just graduated from Falmouth University with a 1st class BA(Hons) Creative Events Management degree, but that certainly doesn’t mean I haven’t been busy working during that time!
I’ve been working at Trebah Garden for nearly 5 years now, mostly as Event Assistant, but I’m lucky enough to work for Cheap Date Dance Company & Cscape Dance in production roles as well.
My role at Trebah means I get to work on a wide range of events: developing children’s workshops, coordinating volunteers for a huge range of performance in our Amphitheatre and creating a winter wonderland inside our Visitor Centre, to name a few!
The ever-changing nature of the job is certainly interesting, I love going in to work never fully knowing what might come my way that day. I’m fortunate to be in a team of people who get on like a house on fire but have the capacity and experience to create amazing pieces of theatre, and many other events.
I’ve been so well supported through the last few years while I’ve been studying as well as working which has allowed me to apply a lot of the theory straight away within my normal day-to-day. Getting to work somewhere which is constantly striving to improve itself makes you very aware of your capabilities and encourages me to push myself.
There is nothing quite as special as finishing the final dress run of a site-specific performance at Trebah and sitting on the beach looking out at that beautiful horizon. We all think Trebah is a very unique place, but we’ve just been awarded 2 silver Cornwall Tourism Awards as well, so clearly, other people agree with us!
I’ve volunteered at Miracle’s Christmas show in a Front of House role for the past 3 years, so it’s become a part of my Christmas routine now. Emma, Alice & Annie are so brilliant at making you feel a part of the team instantly and have allowed me to take on more responsibility each year which has been amazing for my confidence.
I’ve been very fortunate to also get a chance to volunteer with Wildworks on Wolf’s Child and some iconic Cornish events, such as Porthleven Food Festival and City of Lights.
As part of my degree, we were encouraged to try and volunteer for as many types of event as we could, so I’ve been involved in everything from a 10k assault course to polo on Watergate Bay beach, as well as many dance and theatre performances.
For me, all the arts volunteering helped to confirm that I adore working in the industry and showed me what it takes to create something truly breath-taking. I’ve been able to get experience both through volunteering and through my jobs as well, meeting lots of amazing Cornish creatives who are never shy of sharing what they’ve learnt.
It has to be Wolf’s Child by Wildworks at Trelowarren Estate, I think I must have seen it 10 times after buying a ticket for the first night and then volunteering for many more because I couldn’t get enough.
Ooh, good question! I’m a massive food fan, so this is a tough choice… But it would have to be either Bango Kitchen in Penryn, who make awesome sushi which is so rare in Cornwall, or The Working Boat in Falmouth, the view is amazing and the Wednesday burger deal is top-notch.
My favourite coastal walk is definitely around Rinsey Head, especially on a blustery day. Though a walk up the lane from my family home to pick blackberries (and eat most of them!) at the end of summer is a close second.
I absolutely adore paddleboarding, seeing a sunrise from the water is so magical and makes getting up at the crack of dawn incredibly worth it. The guys down at WeSUP on Gylly Beach are so incredibly friendly and most tours seem to end up at a pub which is always a bonus!
I’d love to have taken my Grandad who was a bomb disposal operative in Egypt in WW2 to see Operation Neptune at Trebah Garden.
It’s hard to say exactly, I’d love to become a Producer one day, but the arts world is ever-changing and developing so I’m excited to see what comes my way.
For now, I’m enjoying being able to get hands-on in some exciting projects with Trebah and Cheap Date which are teaching me a lot!
About Miracle Theatre
Famous for touring a rich and diverse blend of original, inventive theatre since 1979, Miracle Theatre is one of Cornwall’s most renowned theatre companies, with a reputation for delivering a unique, lively and energetic performance style in venues across Cornwall and all over the UK. Read more . .
About Trebah Gardens
Located in a tranquil spot above the Helford River, this 26-acre sub-tropical valley garden boasts more than four miles of footpaths from which visitors can enjoy a colourful and fragrant collection of 100-year-old rhododendrons, camellias and magnolias. Visitors will also enjoy the unique Trebah Amphitheatre, a quirky space that welcomes a wide range of comedic, puppetry, musical, theatrical and dance performances that often spill out into the surrounding gardens. Read more . .