Supporting joy in our community
As part of the Community Investment Programme the K+C Foundation is proud to support the Renegade Theatre’s weekly performance and fine art workshops creating theatre, film and art pieces with 30 children living on and around the Wornington Green Estate.
The first term of this programme took place during the pandemic, but Renegade Theatre were able to adapt their content and work with children via Zoom. The focus was on creating poems for community members who they felt needed cheering up. Four people were invited to come and meet the children who asked them lots of questions about their lives.
One of these invitees was 64 year old Grace, who was depressed and withdrawn after being in lock down and isolated for five months. The children were moved when Grace told them how sad she felt at seeing trees being cut down on the Wornington Green Estate where she lives, and they were fascinated by stories she told about the lakes and villages from Ghana - her country of origin.
The children worked with playwright and poet Natasha Langridge and actress and facilitator Hannah Hutch to write and perform a poem for each invitee. They chose words that described Grace and her life. They experimented with using the words to create rhythms that captured the feeling of each community member. They explored how different words in different orders made them feel and decided they wanted to make Grace and the others feel, ‘Happy',' Understood,' and 'Beautiful.'
All the children contributed words and phrases to create the four poems, which they then performed together on Zoom to be captured by filmmaker Constantine Gras. When the films of the poems were completed, we invited the four community members to watch them with the children and the parents too.
After watching her poem Grace cried and said “That is one the best things that has happened to me in years”. One of the children told her that she must remember “You are part of our hearts now”.
The poems can be seen here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xpM_y_Vx9uM