|Trip Down Memory Lane - Louder Than a Whisper
Members of the cast during the live performance. (L-R) Kira Bracegirdle, Charlotte Webb, Max Finney.
Inter-generational community production packs out Formby Hall.
A national arts project called ‘Whispers of Britain’, originally a series of community workshops celebrating the country’s wide range of regional dialects, resulted in a hugely-successful theatrical performance of ‘Down Memory Lane’ at Formby Hall this weekend. The community theatre production organised by Wigan Leisure and Culture Trust (WLCT) with the invaluable support of Wigan Pier Theatre Company, incorporated a cast of local amateur talent aged from 8 to 88.
Shakerley Community Partnership, Hindley Community High School and the Over 50’s Forum all worked closely together during a series of workshops to create a play (directed by Michael Rees) that rejoices in the beauty and diversity of the local dialect. The play was divided into a series of short scenes emphasising the age, gender and social divides that have an effect on how we all communicate.
Martin Green, Development Officer for Wigan Pier Theatre Company, is pleased at the quality of the performance. “Originally we thought it might be difficult to pull together an engaging performance when the play involved such a variety of different people. However, the enthusiasm that everyone has shown really shone through and I know the audience felt it was a worthwhile experience,” said Martin. “The commitment from the whole group was superb and I am so glad that what started as a national project has had such a lasting and significant impact on people from across the borough.”
Vicky Sellers, Arts Development Officer for WLCT, was pleasantly surprised by the huge turnout at Formby Hall. “It was great to see 250 people packed into Formby Hall for a community event such as this. The audience really enjoyed themselves and I know that everyone involved in the play got a great deal of satisfaction out of seeing such a great number of people turn out to see it.”
Vicky is hopeful that the project will continue to run beyond ‘Down Memory Lane’. “This was a great opportunity for people of all ages to work together, the positive impact this has had in such on so many people has been great. The group want to harness all the energy they have put into the play and produce more and more performances over the coming years.”