Earlier in October we completed Journey Exchange, an intergenerational, international project that brought together local people from Burnham and Highbridge, Somerset theatre-makers and artists from Hungary, Germany and Rumania. We hosted our European colleagues as part of the RIOTE3 project that we’re a partner in.
Despite the many Covid-related challenges of creating a participatory theatre project, we enjoyed working with our partners at Seed to offer workshops in Burnham and Highbridge throughout September. Theatre-makers Selina Keedwell and Shaena Brandel ran sessions that explored stories of travel, including journeys that people might have made in the past and those they hope to make in the future.
These stories were explored through recorded verbatim (a form of documentary theatre which is based on the spoken words of real people) and physical work using aerial silks.
The whole project culminated in everybody coming together in the first weekend of October to create a free outdoor performance at the Morland Community Hub in Highbridge. Audiences enjoyed performances from local community groups, Bollywood dancing, children and young people from the local youth theatres, a beautiful stilt performance from Frankfurt’s Antagon Theatre and Pirates of the Carabina’s touring circus show, Pirate Taxi.
"Sharing stories is what brings people together. It's what forms a community and also enables you to learn more about others and the world. Things like this event don't exist without people in the community stepping up and go "you know what I'd like to do?" and then making that happen. I'm very happy to be a part of it."Rebecca Colman, participant
With both the Covid and weather odds against us, communal creativity and resilience prevailed to produce a unique, community arts event; the sense of celebration and achievement was immense, as captured by the following images from Len Copland.