Mappa Mundi: Out of the Museum, Into the Streets

8.30pm – FRIDAY 4th MAY

In 2017 the mystical creatures from the Mappa Mundi found their way into our world. Over the past year they have journeyed to destinations around the globe discovering what life is like in 2018 and learning how to navigate the complexities, challenges and vulnerability of modern life, and the varied worlds within our world…

Beginning our event outside the Cathedral we link this year’s performance to Herefordshire’s past and historical heritage. Over the evening we draw in influences from the county’s modern identity and increasingly diverse make up, and look out at our 2018 global context.

Once again, we will be working with Dance Fest youth dancers, The Courtyard Youth Theatre, SHYPP, rafters from Hereford CHAR plus artists, performers and musicians from Hereford and beyond to devise and develop these themes.

The night will begin outside the cathedral, process to the river via Nell Gwynne Street, and to the Old Bridge. It will then cross the river and finish on the banks of the Wye at Bishops Meadow with a lantern procession on the river. The performance will include dance, performance, costumes, masks, live music and digital projections.

The performance is generously supported by the Arts Council England


A bold and exciting performance breathing life into Hereford’s creative and cultural heritage.

By taking part in fun, creative, community-focused activities, the city’s population will learn about the historic, yet largely overlooked, 13th Century  Mappa Mundi-one of the city’s most valuable historical and cultural treasures.

A centrepiece for the River Carnival

The performance in 2017 was the first instalment of a major part of Hereford River Carnival over the next three years.  It formed the centrepiece of the newly introduced Friday night element of the Carnival on the evening of Friday 28th April and its creatures and creations took part in both the Street Carnival and River Carnival on Saturday 29th April.

Part two will take place on Friday 4th May.

Rediscovering a hidden treasure

The Mappa Mundi, literally ‘Cloth of the World’ is fascinating, a hidden treasure. It acts as a portal into the world of the medieval mind; it’s full of humour, storytelling, mythology, history, and fascinating imaginative creations.

We intend to use these as a means to take the map down from its pedestal of isolation, and bring it to life-firing the imaginations of young and old.

We will introduce the people of Hereford to the map through street performance, breaking down the actual and imagined walls of the museum which keep the map confined within the world of academic scholarship.

The community at the heart of the action

With the full support of Hereford Cathedral (where it is housed), we will hold artistic and creative workshops involving local community theatre groups and artists, that will result in a performance event that sees the Mappa Mundi burst out of the confines of the museum and onto Hereford’s streets.

Using accessible and engaging performance and involving community groups, schools, colleges, artists and performers, our project will help people engage with the map and learn about its cultural and historic significance.

By bringing it to life in this way, we will reach a wider audience which would not normally engage with such an artefact and may be unaware of it or consider it irrelevant to them.

An experienced creative team

The team which will deliver the project combines academic rigour with expertise in performance, proven creative flair and a track record of delivering large-scale successful community activity.

We aim to immerse the audience in the stories that will come to life from the map enabling them to walk the streets of Hereford alongside mythical creatures and medieval characters – experiencing heritage rather than merely observing them on the map.

They will understand and embrace the Mappa Mundi as Our Map of The World – an exciting reflection of our historical past and our cultural heritage something to be fascinated by and enthuse about to visitors as well be proud of.

A map for us all in the 21st Century

Our project will increase the knowledge of Hereford residents and beyond of Hereford as a city of cultural energy and richness that goes back centuries. Ultimately our project will showcase Hereford as “a cloth of the world” with its diverse communities inscribed all over it.  The project will be a major contributor, we believe, in Hereford’s bid to become City of Culture.

We will reinvigorate the Mappa Mundi with 21st Century relevance and ultimately create our own contemporary version of the Mappa Mundi with our city, Hereford at its centre demonstrating our current place in the world.

Friday night festivities

In 2017, the programme began at the Cathedral, made its way down Gwynne St. over the Old Bridge and onto Bishop’s Meadow, while a torch-lit river procession of floats decorated with giant mythical beasts floated down the Wye. There were then be refreshments and more music on Bishop’s Meadow as well as a fire garden display to round off the evening.

Scripting and planning for 2018 is well under way, so prepare for even more surprises and spectacle on the Wye in 2018.

For more information or sponsorship opportunities, please contact:

Stuart Fox (01432) 760204 / 07841 000431 or email: