Pay What You Can event evokes the beauty of rural landscape

On Saturday 8 February, Déda is pleased to present a third ‘Pay What You Can’ event, giving the audience a chance to see high quality dance and theatre from talented emerging companies without the financial risk.

Stillhouse presents Ours Was The Fen Country, an ethereal piece of documentary dance theatre evoking the mysterious beauty of The Fenlands.fen-country-featured.jpg

Between 2010 and 2012, choreographer Dan Canham went on a process of capturing conversations with people of the Fens in East Anglia. Eel-catchers, horse breeders, museum keepers and young farmers were all interviewed. Their words are brought to life by fusing them with movement and sound to get to the heart of this beautiful, bleak and mysterious expanse of flat land.

Dan Canham is a theatre maker and performer who creates visually poetic work which puts the spotlight onto a human experience. He works alongside other collaborators as Still House, a company which conjures up a real sense of place without the use of excessive set design. Dan has previously worked as a performer for KneeHigh Theatre, DV8 Physical Theatre, Punchdrunk and Fabulous Beast Dance Theatre.

Dan comments "Having grown up on the edge of the fens but always having looked towards the city, this project was an opportunity for me to rediscover the landscape in which I grew up, and some of the remarkable people I had previously overlooked; people who represent a shrinking way of life and who may become a kind of ‘ghost species’ in the not-too-distant future."

Ours Was The Fen Country is the third Pay What You Can event presented at Déda. Following two successful events, we invite audiences to book a free ticket and then pay what they can and they think the show is worth following the performance.  

Programming and Marketing Officer Helen Dawson comments “At Déda we realise that audiences might be nervous about taking a chance on a piece of work by an up-and-coming company. But we also have a responsibility to provide a space where artists can present their work in front of an audience.

Pay What You Can evenings give audiences a risk-free night out, enabling them to see a performance by a professional company and then pay what they think it was worth afterwards. Dan Canham and Still House’s show has had a great response from audiences and critics already, so we’re really excited to bring it to Derby.”

StillHouse presents Ours Was The Fen Country at Déda on Saturday 8 February at 8pm. No payment is required in advance, but it is recommended that a booking is made to secure your seat. To reserve your ticket, please contact the Box Office on 01332 370911.

“One of the most original talents around.”  The Independent

“Canham and his cast provide a living eulogy: harsh, bleak and richly beautiful.”
The Guardian

“A deeply moving meditation on the passing of a way of life …performed with an authenticity and immediacy that stuns like an arrow through the heart. Unmissable.” ***** Venue Magazine


Notes to Editors:

For images, interview requests, press tickets and press enquiries, please contact:

Helen Dawson, Marketing and Programming Officer

T: 01332 370911


Listings Information

Saturday 8 February 8pm

Ours Was the Fen Country

Presented by Still House

Tickets: Pay What You Can (Advanced booking advised)


Déda, Chapel Street, Cathédral Quarter, Derby, DE1 3GU

Box Office:    01332 370911



Déda (formerly known as Derby Dance) is a unique venue located in Derby city centre offering a dance-focussed arts programme. The building houses two performance spaces, two professionally equipped dance studios, conferencing facilities and the CUBE café|bar.

With a class curriculum of almost 50 classes a week and an extensive community development programme Déda is one of the key cultural organisations in the city.

Déda receives funding from Arts Council England and Derby City Council.


About Arts Council England

The Arts Council champions, develops and invests in artistic and cultural experiences that enrich people’s lives. We support a range of activities across the arts, museums and libraries – from theatre to digital art, reading to dance, music to literature, and crafts to collections. Great art and culture inspires us, brings us together and teaches us about ourselves and the world around us. In short, it makes life better. Between 2011 and 2015, we will invest £1.4 billion of public money from government and an estimated £1 billion from the National Lottery to help create these experiences for as many people as possible across the country.