Heart of the Community

Today was our first day back after a few days off from performances and the show is going well. This evening’s performance was brimming with energy. Our audience of invited guests were really supportive. It was particularly special as some familiar faces who saw the show last year were back again and they seemed to thoroughly enjoy the show.Post show

One of the interviewees was present this evening, who provided a lot of the research material last year, and whose stories feature heavily in the script.  I can’t describe the feeling of knowing we are performing a piece which draws on real stories, and often to the very people who own those stories, who have lived them and told them.Exhibit Arzhang!

We’ve been getting some fantastic feedback. Hearing audience comments is really encouraging and reminds us why this remount was so important…

“Moments of sadness. Laughter, joy, humour, loss – a journey of human emotions. Wonderful.”

“…should be shown everywhere…”

“One of the best things I’ve seen in years.”

“A feast for the eyes and ears and funny and thought provoking – an excellent evening.”

“There was a time that the corner shop was at the heart of every community” reads the beginning of a ‘preview’ in last Saturday’s Guardian Guide. It feels as though we are at the heart of Wolverhampton Centre’s community right now. Shoppers continue to peer into the unit, asking each other “What’s going on here then?” It’s been hilarious trying to get people to take a flier from us as they pass by. Some stop, stare and mumble quietly amongst themselves. A few times I’ve called out from behind our little rope cordon “would you like a flier?” “No!” And they’re off, darting back into Walter Smith’s or the pound shop. There are, however, some brave souls who accept the offer of a guided tour from Frances or Steve and step courageously into the unit. I don’t think they’re ever regretful. I saw a woman and her family wander round in awe this morning before our performance…her two little boys followed Steve round hand in hand, walking in step with one another, jaws wide open. Beginning in a dark street lit by a single street lamp, littered with rubbish and graffiti. Into Regal Stores stacked with gold painted groceries. Through a strange looking split room of halves with a Hindi movie flickering silently on an old TV screen. I wish I could have seen their reactions as they entered the sweet shop.

Rochi Rampal


Sarah's so at home in her room, she can't stay away - even on her break.


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