Throughout April I’ve been following and shooting a fantastic community project at Highfield Road Park. Led by Sophie Fuce of LeftCoast and with the help and support of the Friends of Highfield Road Park, local residents were lured into the park pavilion to share their stories and memories of the park throughout the years. Tea was drunk and cakes were consumed as tales – funny, sad, often moving – were related, and notes taken for future reference.
Meanwhile everyone was busy, under the skilled supervision of Alan Hulme of Urban Organic UK CIC, first erecting a living willow dome, then digging out turf, making flowerbeds and building a temporary stage.
The notes were cleverly woven into a script by Sharon Lancaster of Wooden Spoons Theatre, and the two person performance took place around the park on a warm sunny day in May. As the actors, Janelle and Gareth, wound their way through the trees, across the tennis courts and back over the grass to the dome, audience members, from toddlers to pensioners, skipped and walked behind, hanging on to every word. More than once I heard the procession laughingly compared to the following of the Pied Piper.
If ever a community came together for a fun activity this was it. The weather stayed fine, the turn out was beyond expectations and the afternoon was declared a resounding success.
For more information about LeftCoast visit leftcoast.org.uk
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