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image for Play - Contemporary item typeReturn of the Wildman at Orford Castle

  • VistEngland VAQAS

Play - Contemporary, from 1 Nov 2017, £8-£15




Martin Bonger in Return of the Wildman


IP12 2ND


Wonderful Beast is the Suffolk based touring theatre company which works with world-class professional artists creating inclusive theatre for all ages. 'Return of The Wildman' is a play with music, inspired by the legendary Wildman of Orford, which played to sold-out audiences in the High Tide Festival 2015 and Wonderful Beast’s festival Storm of Stories 2016.
Local writer, Thea Smiley, spins a fascinating tale set in an evocative and historic landscape where the Wildman reappears enthralling us with his mythical powers. The highly dramatic narrative is performed by actor Martin Bonger, with atmospheric music played by Sylvia Hallett, traditional sea shanties performed by the Wonderful Beast and voice-overs written and recorded by the children of Aldeburgh and Orford primary schools. Alys Kihl, artistic director of Wonderful Beast directs.
Most people who live locally have heard of the legend of the Wildman of Orford who was captured at sea and incarcerated in Orford Castle where he was hung upside down in an attempt to make him speak. Not only would he not oblige but to the horror of the townspeople he showed no respect for Christianity when taken to Orford Church. Who was this wildman…devil, merman, sea spirit? After six months he finally escaped and found his way back to the sea and disappeared for ever. Or did he? Our story is a reimagining of this local legend and tells another tale, one in which his presence is still very much alive…
"Martin Bonger gave a brilliant performance in the title role; the chorus of fishermen and the use of sea shanties and chants were incredibly powerful.”
“Wonderful, evocative… lots of local references, historical and contemporary. Great to see a simple story told really well.”
Audience feedback: High Tide Festival 2015 and ‘Storm of Stories’ 2017
To see full tour listing and book your tickets for Return of The Wildman head to or call 01728 451408.

English Heritage PropertyFacilities for educational visitsRegional Tourist Board MemberAccepts groups

Children welcome

Disabled toilets are located at Orford Quay car park 600 metres from the castle.

Event details

Dates Times
Wed 1 Nov 2017 19:30 to 20:30
Fri 3 Nov 2017 20:00 to 21:00
No interval


£8 -£15 tickets for residents of Orford only

Also at this Venue

Events at this Venue

date event
Wed 1 Nov Return of the Wildman
Fri 3 Nov Return of the Wildman



Plan route to Orford Castle using Google mapsPlan route using Google maps

Map reference: TM 420498  Lat: 52.09393 Long: 1.53213

By Road:
Take the A1152 then the B1084 to Orford.


  • English Heritage PropertyEnglish Heritage Property
  • Facilities for educational visitsFacilities for educational visits
  • Regional Tourist Board MemberRegional Tourist Board Member
  • Accepts groupsAccepts groups
  • Children welcomeChildren welcome

Disabled toilets are located at Orford Quay car park 600 metres from the castle.