On a cold and wet Wednesday night in February, a group of young performers braved the winter weather to stage a promenade style performance in and around the People Express building in Swadlincote. Leading their audience through worlds old and new, the performers shared magical tales including; the Suffragettes fight for their right to vote, a scientist working on her newest creation (a robot boyfriend), the discovery of a new element and a girl, her mum and a shrinking potion. Audience of family and friends joined the ensemble to watch and celebrate the new work, devised entirely by the performers themselves.
Following on from weekly after school workshops, the group attended a residency, working over 3 days at People Express to transform the building into a performance space, making our hallway into an enchanted forest, our stairway into a fiery lair and our upstairs workshop space into a television news studio.
The ensemble worked incredibly hard and performed with confidence and style, which bearing in mind some of the young people had never performed in public before was amazing.
The performance marked the end of the Feel Good Factor, a two year project that provided the opportunity for young people to work alongside artists and arts professionals. The aim was to help young people to develop skills that could be used for a career in the creative industries. As well as developing creative, communication, problem solving and relationship skills the young people have taken on leadership roles.
“I like the different activities, whatever we want to do, they make it happen. It’s always fun” – Reece 12
“It’s fun, I’ve learnt lots of new things. I feel listened to and the sessions have opened up a new world to me!” – Emelia 15
” We have some rules but fun rules. I like it because I was anxious about making new friends when I moved into the area. But I’ve made lots of new friends at the sessions. I’ve learnt to not be shy and my confidence has grown!” – Molly 13