As part of Hillingdon Arts Week, Grow Heathrow held a performance residency; ‘Kaleidoscope – Heathrow in Transition’. The residency brought together a group of eclectic, creative individuals to collaborate in producing a forum theatre piece that highlighted the concept of peak oil, the values of Grow Heathrow and the Transition Towns movement.
We started off with concept development. This entailed taking ideas such as Peak oil, waste, Transition and community, and translating them into a script and visual performance. We wanted to get people’s attention as well as help them to question modern living habits. At the same time we were also integrating the ‘forum theatre’ model, as well as a musical back drop.
By day 3 we were moving on to the visual stage, with people from all sorts of different theatrical and performance backgrounds joining us. We then started to interpret what we had already put down in the conceptual stage to develop it theatrically. It was wonderful to see how different people responded to different themes. Each time someone came and worked on the project, it ripened the piece, until a fully formed forum theatre production emerged.
We managed to create a complete piece of forum theatre with a full cast, script, props and music in a matter of days, whilst mixing many artistic disciplines. We performed at a community fete and in the community centre centre, where we got audiences to participate in a full throttle debate about what they had seen. This included thoughts about advertising, farming, stress, wonky veg shops and more! Initiating debates and discussions like these has helped the local community ‘hear each other out’. And in the words of Audre Lorde: “Without community, there is no liberation.”
The performance was filmed and will be out soon – watch this space!