Spirit of the Place1CF
Christian project blesses Norwich with free theatre 

Young people from the Jenny Lind Park community put on theatre performances in a weekend of events designed to pull local people together and celebrate the value of the area.

The Christian outreach project teamed up with the Jenny Lind Arts Project to put on moving and thought-provoking performances over the weekend of June 9 and 10. Ten young people from the Jenny Lind Community Project were involved in performances themselves, arranaged by the Slow Theatre Company. It was all hands on deck as other young people helped to run stalls from the fete that ran alongside the event and at least eight were involved in behind the scenes work such as creating parts of the set.

The fete included a craft stall, games such as giant jenga, raffles, hoopla and a Jenny Lind Park Community Project information stall.  

There were three performances on Friday and four on Saturday of the ‘Spirit of the Place’, which included a string of short scenes around Suffolk Square which allowed the audience to move around the area and view different characters portraying typical life in the area. For example, one scene showed a father trying to persuade his daughter to eat vegetables instead of pizza all the time. Another depicted a woman graffitiing a wall which helped her work through her troubles with wisdom and optimism. Another performance was a young’s woman pep-talk before work. The purpose was to show that after viewing people’s stresses and hardships, they can also find happiness and joy in lives such as relationships and nature.

Spirit of the Place puppetProject Co-ordinator Gemma Stapleford said, "It was a fanstatic way to bring the community together as tickets were free and the shows were right on the doorstep."

"Great thought went into understanding the culture of the locals and networking with other local groups."

Young people from the project, which meets in their own premises on Suffolk Square were involved for several weeks before the shows, helping make Fat Charlie the dog [pictured right] and developing their puppetering skills. 

Photos by Anita Staff Photography

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