As part of our Youth and Education programmes, GCRP commissioned Strike a Light to develop a ‘platform performance’ with their youth theatre groups, aiming to improve the health and wellbeing of Gloucester’s urban youth by connecting them with rural places and environments through sustainable travel.
18 young people from Gloucester’s Strike A Light Youth Theatre worked together over six months to create and stage a brand new performance, taking place on board a train from Gloucester to Lydney. The young people engaged with rail travel and travelling to unknown places through discussion and creative expression, leading to a show that combined comedy, physical theatre and magic.
The innovative performance took place at multiple locations starting at Gloucester station on Platform 2, on board a Transport for Wales train to Lydney and at Lydney Harbour, with a delighted audience who had booked tickets especially. The project was designed to demonstrate that public transport can help increase independence and confidence in a stimulating and engaging way and we saw this through the performance and its development; none of the group had been to Lydney before the day of the performance and 13 had never travelled by train before. The group enjoyed the trip so much they made a commitment to return to Lydney together on an annual basis.
The production - called ‘Us’ - took the audience through a journey of the imagination, with a ‘Chorus of Doom’ shying away from new experiences and another group encouraging them and the audience to journey into the unknown.
Charlene Olaleye, Participation Producer for Strike A Light, said “it was just a fantastic day for everyone involved. The young people got to showcase their imagination and their skills in front of a real live audience. And the audience had a brilliant time, too!”
GCRP is looking forward to more platform performances in the future which will help to bridge the gap between communities and public transport, ensuring that the needs of young people are met.
Click through to view the full gallery: