A LEADING theatre company is gearing up a stage a show in the middle of Cornwall’s legendary stock car racetrack. Wildworks Theatre will be showcasing The Kneebone Cadillac at the United Downs Raceway near St Day between July 4 and 14.

The comedy-drama, written by Carl Grose and directed by Kyla Goodey, features the hard-up Kneebone family siblings Slick, Dwight and Maddy, who have a mighty fall-out when their scrapyard-owning dad Jed shocks everyone by leaving his cherished 1958 Cadillac Eldorado to his only daughter.

Rather than cash in the prized but broken-down auto, which may or may not have once belonged to Elvis Presley, feisty Maddy is determined to get it back on the road and take on all-comers in the United Downs Boneshaker stock car race.

Ancient family feuds do not die quickly and soon Maddy’s dream of success in a male-dominated world sets the community on a collision course for chaos.

The Kneebone Cadillac’s wickedly funny Cornish dialogue, the troublemaking cast of characters and gritty post-industrial locale illuminate a side of Cornwall many miles from the picture-postcard cliché of the county.

The Kneebone Cadillac runs from July 4 to 14 at United Downs Raceway ( )

For Cornwall-born playwright Carl Grose, setting the drama at the raceway that fired his imagination when he first visited as a boy of 10 with his dad is a dream come true.

Carl said: “I’ve always been obsessed with the area, that slightly stranger Cornwall, and have such vivid memories of the raceway because my dad used to take me out there. 

“I loved that world – noisy and smelly, with all that grease and burning petrol.

“With The Kneebone Cadillac being staged there, it’s going full circle for me from when I was an excited little kid.”

Carl and Kyla Goodey first worked together as apprentices 30 years ago with Kneehigh Theatre company and are thrilled to be collaborating again in a Wildworks production on home turf.

He said: “It’s great that The Kneebone Cadillac will be seen in Cornwall for the first time thanks to Wildworks and it’s wonderful that Kyla is directing. She so understands it and gets it that this is a story for Cornwall now.”

Kyla Goodey is assembling a stellar line-up of locally based acting and production talents and working closely with the raceway owners to devise the most dramatic setting inside an arena which has hosted stock car racing for more than 50 years.

She said: “Comedy is my first love and what Carl has written is bang up to date. It’s about a young woman’s ambition to succeed in a man’s world and to find a way to see it through to the end.

“It’s a fast and furious Cornish show with brilliant dialogue and tons of dramatic twists and turns. It does feel like life right now could do with some light relief and there is plenty of light relief in The Kneebone Cadillac.”

The drama grew out of another acclaimed Carl Grose play, Superstition Mountain, a dark comedy featuring three brothers from St Day. The BBC Radio 4 production of The Kneebone Cadillac was first broadcast in 2011.

The announcement coincides with the launch of a new Wildworks membership programme GROW WILD, aimed at allies who share the vision and values of the theatre company.

Members gain access to exclusive insights, opportunities to connect with the Wildworks team, special discounts, priority booking, and a host of other perks.

Wildworks Artistic Director Mydd Pharo said: “These are exciting times – bringing the brilliant The Kneebone Cadillac to a Cornwall audience and launching a new dynamic way to connect with our community through membership.

“Our hope is for members to become ambassadors, advocating for us online and in public, spreading the word, inviting friends, and seeking ways for Wildworks to flourish as a positive creative force for good.”

The production is part of We Are Shining, the biggest theatre engagement programme ever staged in Cornwall, which is backed by a £995,000 investment from the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Good Growth Programme managed by Cornwall Council and funded by the Government’s UK Shared Prosperity Fund.

The theatre company is now opening up a treasure trove of stories and inspiring creative talents from the Isles of Scilly to the Tamar.

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