The Trans-plantable Living Room

Rozie Apps
Thursday, 23rd May 2013

Permaculture, sustainability, recycling and community growing take to the stage as elements in an edible and biodegradable theatre stage and interactive performance.

An outdoor, community-grown, edible 'living' room space will host inspirational and interactive performances this September at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama in Cardiff.

The project is based on the 'Living Stage,' a biodegradable, edible and sustainable theatre stage that debuted at Castlemaine State festival near Melbourne in March 2013, designed by Australian Tanja Beer. Fusing permaculture, story-telling, stage design and performace, the Trans-plantable Living Room brings together artists, gardeners and growers, internationally and locally.

The 'living' room will be adapted to resources and ideas of Cardiff gardeners and permaculture designers, with household items and furniture being adapted to grow plants. Performances will take place on the stage giving hidden stories of gardens and their inhabitants, with interviews, story-sharing workshops and interactive performances inviting the audience to consider the social and ecolofical role of gardening today.

Included in the workshops will be drama games exploring how different plants came to the UK, accounts of insects, birds and soil microorganisms as well as fictional garden stories. All these stories and ideas will become an immersive and interactive journey to be performed as part of The World Stage Design Congress in Cardiff from September 5th to the 15th 2013. 

With farmers and growers fighting against the struggles of climate change, bees and birds struggling to deal with intensive agricultural methods and society being so disconnected from the food they eat, the project is a fantastic and alternative approach to addressing the country's growing issues. The aim is to make people more aware, connect communties of growers and artists to create a living stage and performances together and to strengthen links between these groups in Cardiff, which has a growing network of community gardens and farms.

A range of groups will be involved in the project, each with their own skills. Cardiff based gardeners, coordinated by Riverside Community Allotments will grow the plants, Green Stage Theatre will run workshops and interviews to discover stories of gardening, looking at the changes over the years and the future of small scale food production. Their collected ideas and stories will be weaved together by members from Plantable Research Collective to create the perfomance.

Tanja Beer and her team from The Living Stage, will help design the 'living' room, wtih their experience from designing The Living Stage in Australia and permaculture designer Michele Fitzsimmons from Edible Landscaping in Cardiff, will use her 20 years experience of edible gardens to form the foundation of the growing plan.

Living Cultures who research interrelationships between bacteria, yeast, fungi and their environment, will be involved in the workshops and Federation of City Farms and Community Gardens will help promote the event. The People's Collection Wales will provide recording equipment and will store the footage on their website.

Trans-plantable Living Room needs support for the community workshops and growing activities to get the project on the move. 



To find out more about The Living Stage and Tanja Beer visit

More resources

The Resurgence of Community Gardening and Urban Agriculture in North America

Watch: Why Make Food Parks in Urban Spaces 

Feral Farming: can we produce good yields and have healthy wildlife?

How Farms Are Using Permaculture Design to Survive and Prosper