Archive for August, 2009

The Corner Shop print arrives!

August 20, 2009

Always an exciting moment in the pre-production process, you know a show is really going to happen when the boxes of posters and flyers arrive. It feels like the countdown to opening night starts here! We’re planning for tickets to go on sale on 1st September, so the next week or two will no doubt involve all sorts of strenuous legwork by loyal Foursight and BCT footsoldiers distributing 27,000 flyers and persuading shopkeepers in Wolverhampton to put a poster up in their window.

If anyone would like to help distribute a few flyers to interested parties, do let us know…!

Corner Shop print

Corner Shop print 005

Corner Shop School and Community Project

August 12, 2009

Wolverhampton’s West Park Primary School has agreed to let Foursight through its doors again to do our next Education and Outreach project: The Corner Shop Project! We are delighted to be working with the school again, after such a fruitful beginning to our relationship with the Special Correspondence Club project earlier this year.

This will be a mirror project of Foursight and Black Country Touring’s The Corner Shop. Having tested the model in schools in Smethwick last year, this is a great opportunity for us to build on its successes in our own local community – in a school situated not only next to Foursight’s base on the Newhampton Arts Site, but which also, so I’m told, is the school closest to Wolverhampton’s town centre. That’ll save on coach hire: the children will be able to walk to see the production! Whatever helps the budget makes us happy!

The starting point will be the investigation of the lives of those both in front of and behind the counter of small family-run ‘corner’ shops. As with all our work, our aim is for the project to be largely steered and shaped by the imaginations and interests of those participating in it. Who knows where we’ll go and what we’ll experience!

We’re thrilled to have secured some funding from the Sir Barry Jackson Trust and the school itself, but are waiting to hear if we’ve been successful with other bids. Fingers crossed!

While we wait, I’ll be meeting with Wolverhampton City Archivists in their fabulous new building this week to discuss ways of working together on this project, as well as thinking about how I might make my first point of contact with the participating class prior to meeting them, to get them intrigued and excited. I’ll be going in and out of local shops, whetting shop-keepers appetites about the project, and probably having mine excited by the goods they sell.

When researching for last year’s Corner Shop Schools project, I discovered a wonderful Kurdish corner shop which sells Basra Date Syrup. This has now become a staple in my house! I look forward very much to many more unknown delights arriving in my cupboard, as well as getting to know the school and shopping community better through this project.

Lisa Harrison
Foursight’s Education and Outreach Co-ordinator

First site visit with design team

August 4, 2009
Corner Shop venue

Corner Shop venue

Just had our first meeting at the new site with Purvin & Rob Hill who worked with us on the original design and build. The new space is a large empty sports shop right  in the heart of the Mander shopping centre  opposite a sad and empty  Woolworths, all very appropriate for a production about small corner shops.

The space is great, very similar to the previous shop space in West Bromwich but with a major difference in that the large central stairway, which rose up from the middle of the space in West Brom, this time goes down, rather like a subway. It does impact on the central space which we used for the street scenes in the previous run but will no doubt throw up interesting creative challenges for how we work around it.  Purvin suggested  smoke and red lights  rising up from the stairwell, very atmospheric, perhaps a bit too hell-like for a show about corner shops.

The two large shop windows open out onto a busy walkway in the shopping centre so we are hoping that inquisitive shoppers will peep in, curious to see what is being created inside. We are hoping members of the public will come into the space within a cordoned area and view the work in progress, perhaps have guided tours at later stages when the different spaces have emerged.

So now to a mammoth task, the gathering of materials. A lot of wood to be ordered, charity shops to visit for dressing the different spaces, 70’s wallpaper to find, shop goods and fittings to source and wheelie bins to scrounge for those dark street corners.