Your chance to take part in theatre history
Rosehill Theatre in Whitehaven is working with interactive performance company Coney to put together a new show that will be entirely driven by stories of West Cumbria and its characters.
Coney's Mimi Poskitt and Tom Bowtell have been spending recent months meeting people in West Cumbria to hear their stories and gather their memories in order to create the show.Established actors will then perform alongside local talent in the live shows (March 9 to 11) to tell the tales. The audience will also be encouraged to interact with the characters involved in the part scripted/part improvised show.
"This is a new and dynamic way of getting people involved in theatre," said Mimi. "From the people who contribute stories, to the performers themselves and the audience on the night who can influence which direction the play takes – it's a real community project that will be fun, exciting and adventurous."
The whole theatre building will be used as an interactive stage.
Tom added: "We've been asking West Cumbrian people about their area to find out what they are passionate about.
"From talking to people, it's clear that this area is rich in history, characters and anecdotes."
One strong character Tom and Mimi have unearthed will be right at the heart of the play.
"From going into community centres and lunch clubs, one character who we have been told about again and again is a lady called Eve Ross, who was a personnel manager at Edgard's factory in Whitehaven.
"People have given us such a strong impression of Mrs Ross, of a stern but highly-respected lady who, even 50 years later, commands such fondness from people who worked for her."
The play will tell the story, with Mrs Ross as a narrator, from 1961 to 2011 with live musicians performing songs from each era. Bands and choirs interested in performing are also invited to get in touch.
"We'd love to reach out into the artistic community and unearth some untapped local talent." added Tom. "There's a budding performer in every one of us."
The next workshop for performers is on January 28/29.
The project reflects Rosehill's focus on engaging with the local community, says the theatre's director Richard Elder.
"There will be a rich fusion of professional performers and members of the community that will create extremely vibrant shows," he said.
"We are very keen to bring local people and specialist performers together, highlighted too by our Shakespeare's Christmas Party (held on Sunday) which will involve professional people working with local groups including Rosehill Players, Connexions and Sing Owt to produce a wonderful performance."
Published by http://www.whitehavennews.co.uk