Photo from Tangled Feet show One Million
by Nathan Curry
Being a volunteer performer in a large-scale outdoor theatre production, performing to thousands of local people, in the heart of the city where you live is an exhilarating experience. People often describe these moments as ‘a once in a lifetime experience’ but there are now more opportunities than ever to be involved in large-scale mass participation events. A very brilliant production manager I once worked with gave some excellent advice to a young production placement student “life is better when you join in” – and it’s completely true – it is. As a people we yearn for opportunities to be part of a community, to meet, to celebrate, to connect; and the performing arts is the perfect place to do all of these things. We’ve been making up stories and playing in groups since we could learn to talk and move – why should it stop once we grow up?
Tangled Feet have made a number of shows featuring performers who aren’t trained working alongside young performers in training and professional performers to create theatre that is truly unique. Our show All That is Solid Melts into Air featured a flash mob of 50 young people for the finale scene and One Million featured 100 young people authoring the entire show. For our next mass participation performance we are looking for 300 performers, of all ages, in Leeds and the surrounding areas.
Our new show, Collective Endeavour, commissioned by Dep Arts and Leeds City Council to celebrate the arrival of the Rugby World Cup in Leeds will be an epic celebration of the power of community; of strength in numbers and of the idea that great things can be achieved when you work as a team. Echoing these sporting themes, the show places community at its heart as volunteer performers will help create a giant structure in front of the audience’s eyes. Volunteers perform simple movements evoking the physicality of rugby as well as ensemble work to create images and atmosphere en-masse.
Being a volunteer performer isn’t just about making big images. There is something fundamentally important and exhilarating about a regular, local person performing a story that resonates with them with and for their local community. It is about embedding art at the very heart of the community – made, performed and watched by a group local people. And brilliant. We want Collective Endeavour to be brilliant, highly accomplished and memorable for all.
We make theatre that places volunteers are the heart of something excellent, epic and hugely exciting. If you are reading this and think you’d like to be involved, grab a friend and sign up. Here is a video to tell you more…
More details and sign up here….