Summer-Autumn 2015 has been an exciting time for our Taking Part team. Two shows featured at different festivals; Now Is The Time To Say Nothing at the Edinburgh Forest Fringe Festival and The Brolly Project performed at Latitude Festival. We also continued to create numerous responses to main stage shows and hold free workshops for schools, young people and our local community.
The Brolly Project – directed by Mimi Poskitt, written by Molly Taylor and the company
The Brolly Project was created with people who had worked in the sex industry in response to the portrayal of prostitutes in Measure for Measure, about their experiences both of the sex industry and of the wider world. We took an early version of the show to Latitude Festival on the 18 July and performed the full show at the Young Vic on the 20, 21 and 22 August.
We had an incredible response from audiences and it was a profound experience for all involved. There’s more feedback in our Storify.
The Brolly Project at @youngvictheatre overwhelmingly beautiful.Shatterered stereotypes, full of hopeful hearts. Incredible courage 🙌💫
— Ali Burton (@adoresgaga) August 22, 2015
— James Hadley (@JamesSHadley) August 21, 2015
— Mishal Husain (@MishalHusainBBC) August 20, 2015
Now Is The Time To Say Nothing – directed by Caroline Williams
This show returned to Young Vic from the 14-18 July, as part of the Shubbak Festival. For the first time, a Taking Part show was reviewed by the national press. Lyn Gardner at the Guardian described the show as;
“simple but cunningly constructed and heartfelt piece that acknowledges the complexities of what is happening in Syria, reminds how sitting in the dark watching a screen only distances us, and actively tries to bring us together to reach out to the real people, just like us, whose lives are blighted by war.”
We then took it to Edinburgh, as part of Forest Fringe, from the 24 – 31 August. The responses from the audience were very powerful, and it was a great opportunity to reach a wider audience.
— Ella Cook (@cook_ep) August 28, 2015
— lyngardner (@lyngardner) July 15, 2015
Community responses, workshops and productions.
In response to Joe Hill-Gibbons’ Measure for Measure we had young people from local pupil referral units working with director, Jane Fallowfield to form Measure It, based on love and power. Also in October, participants from our Two Boroughs took part in a week long series of workshops called Inside Measure for Measure where they had the chance to explore staging Shakespeare through different techniques, and had the opportunity to rehearse on stage as well as get an insight into the technical aspects, helping to reproduce the lighting, sound and video for the show.
Our response to La Musica, Room 504 was performed in November to small groups of local audiences. You can find out more about Room 504 from the director Anna Girvan and designer Emma Tompkins in our blog post.
In early November four volunteers, Sharon, Lily, Gbolahan & Elayce travelled to the Good Chance Theatre in Calais and held workshops for the refugees and migrants currently living there. They described the public space as a beacon of hope and dignity amongst a hideous and extra-ordinary situation. We’ll continue supporting the Good Chance Theatre over the next few months and our projects with local young people and young refugees continue with our parallel production of Macbeth.
Our next group of workshops in schools for both pupils and teachers will be announced soon and following our Cut Cart story collecting day, it will be back with a community-sourced sharing in April 2016.