ONE year after BNP leader Nick Griffin used a stage in Thurrock as a launch pad for the party’s European and local election campaign, the young people of the town take the same stage to imagine an alternative vision of the future for Thurrock.
The young company have asked themselves and their peers: what would the future of Thurrock be Ten Years From Now? What part would they play in creating that future? Indeed do they see a future for themselves in the Thames Gateway, one of Europe’s fastest regenerating regions?
Made in collaboration with artists from THEATRE IS… and Throwdown UK, employing hip hop art forms, spoken word, break dancing and body popping, their response is captured in a new piece of theatre with ideas and language formed from a series of conversations and interviews with a number of young Thurrock residents.
The production is the result of an ongoing collaboration between THEATRE IS… and international hip hop artists from Throwdown UK, with support from Thurrock Borough Council and the Thurrock Thames Gateway Development Corporation. This began in September 2009 when the artists took their road show to schools across Thurrock, sharing their skills with over 1,900 young people. 150 were selected to take part in workshops in October, with 55 going on to perform at a slam night on 29th October at the Thameside Theatre. 20 of the most talented were then auditioned to work together as an events team to learn how to create and produce their own work. The process has begun to introduce the company to the creative and entrepreneurial skills required to make their own hip hop theatre, and to share their knowledge with their peers through future self orchestrated workshops and performances.
THEATRE IS… ignites the artistic leadership of the 21st Century, focussing on the young people of the East of England and placing them at the heart of the decision making process. Participants have the chance to learn new skills and work with new technologies, developing as artists and creative entrepreneurs in their local community. THEATRE IS…’ unique, uplifting performances take inspiration from the culture of the young people that create them.
Stuart Mullins, Creative Director of THEATRE IS…said: “As part of ‘It’s our theatre: Thurrock’, we have created a new young company, which we hope will become a key part of its local community. In creating Ten Years From Now the young company is immediately putting their hands up to say “We want to be part of Thurrock’s future, so here is our theatrical response to the question, ‘What will the future be for Thurrock ten years from now?”. The fact that the company, which has been created from the most talented and entrepreneurial under 19’s in Thurrock, is partly made up of young people whose families herald from countries as diverse as Brazil and the Ivory Coast, lies in contrast to some of the views held by at least one of the political parties in Thurrock. For us and our group, this makes for the most vital and necessary theatre there is.”
www.theatreis.org / www.itsourtheatre.com
£5, (£3 concs)
0845 300 5264 / www.thurrock.gov.uk/theatre