Pandora’s Box – free half-term participation fun, Oct 27-31

Arts Council England

We’re thrilled to announce our exciting programme of free, fun youth and family participation activities on at CLF Arts Café in Peckham and Arcola Theatre in Dalston, this Oct half-term.

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With its family storyline, the play drew many African-heritage audiences (children and their parents) into theatre for the first time. As importantly, it drew them in AS families, often three generations visiting the theatre for the first time together. We wanted to build on this!

PROGRAMME 

So we’ve developed a set of theatre and cultural events and workshops exploring the issues and themes of  the play (migration, heritage, dual cultures). They’re run by expert practioners, and aimed at  young people, elders, parents, family froups, theatre-lovers …anyone with an interest in African arts and culture.

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They’re  for people of all ages and levels of interest to become more actively involved in theatre. You can engage in artist-led projects inspired by the show, attend artist talks, learn some Yoruba language, have a go at gele-tying, enjoy drop-in family story-telling/music workshops, or join one of our play devising or youth personal development programmes.

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The Play in a Week Devising Workshop will be run with professional writers and directors. Teams from Iroko Theatre, Numbi Arts and Usifu Jalloh, the Cowfoot Prince will deliver the family-centred events.

Sign up now at sporaparticipation@yahoo.com, stating the name of the venue, workshop and date you’d like to attend.

All activities are free and we gratefully acknowledge funding from Arts Council England, Awards for All and The Unity Theatre Trust in making this possible.

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CLF ARTS CAFE, Peckham

Monday 27 – Friday 31 October – Play in a Week Devising workshop

10.30 – 1.30 every day – ages 11 – 18.

Monday 27 October – Friday 31 October Out of the Box young peoples’ workshop

10.00 -1.00 every day, ages 11 – 18.

Monday 27 October

11.00 – 12.45 – Yoruba language workshop with Ogbeni  (Mr) Kola

1.00 – 2.00 – Gele Tying with Tomi Ogunjobi

Tuesday 28 October

10.30am – 12.30 -Funmi Adewole – Dance & Storytelling

1.00 – 2.30 – Funmi Adewole – Poetry writing

Wednesday 29 October 11.00 – 12.45 – Yoruba language workshop

1.00 – 2.00 – Gele Tying

Thursday 30 October

10.30 – 12.30 – Usifu Jalloh – Travelling Trunk

1.00 – 2.30 – Usifu Jalloh – Jukebox Journey

Arcola, Dalston

Monday 27 – Friday 31st October – Play in a Week Devising 2 – 5pm every day, ages 11 – 18.

Monday 27 October

1.30 – 3.30 Yoruba language workshop

Tuesday 28 October
1.30 – 3.30pm – Pa Ogunlana’s Yoruba Love Stories -readings and interactive storytelling
4 – 6pm – Creating Characters Workshop

Wednesday 29 October

1.00 – 3pm Funmi Adewole Dance & Storytelling

4.00 – 6pm – Funmi Adewole poetry workshop

Thursday 30 October

1.30 – 3. 30pm – Yoruba language workshop

4 – 6pm – Gele tying Workshop

Friday 31st

1 – 3pm – Usifu Jalloh – Travelling Trunk

4 – 6pm Usifu Jalloh – Jukebox Journeys

PROJECT DESCRIPTIONS

JUKEBOX JOURNEY

Jukebox Journey is an inter-generational storytelling project aimed at African elders and young people. The aim of the project is to facilitate a meeting point and a sharing across generations. Both groups will be brought together to share a particular record, favourite song or story. Elders will be encouraged to tell their migration stories and memories. Young people will be encouraged to take part in the dialogue, listen to these stories and connect with their history. The project will facilitate a meeting point and a sharing across generations, with the purpose of:

  • Young people learning about their history
  • Elders passing on important life stories.
  • Young people gaining storytelling and drama skills and using music to explore connections.
  • Elders developing storytelling and drama skills and using music to explore connections.
  • Breaking down barriers of fear and mistrust between the old and young.
  • Raising self-esteem and respect between the young and old.

TRAVELLING TRUNK

An African-themed, family friendly, drop-in learning workshop, offering a wonderful opportunity for the African community to celebrate its heritage and a space for multi-cultural, multi-generational participation.

Adults and children will be inspired by objects to create new stories together. Guided by skilled storytellers, they’ll dive into an imaginative journey by telling stories and singing songs prompted by a series of objects that appear from a giant suitcase or travel trunk – a Pandora’s Box of treasures and surprises. They’ll experience the music, costumes and food of Africa through singing, drawing, dance and storytelling in an enjoyable, creative experience for children and the young at heart alike.

OUT OF THE BOX – Personal Development workshop

A series of enabling workshops for young people, exploring self-identity and cultural heritage. Out of the Box explores alternative positive images and role models available to young people.

Young people responded enthusiastically to the issues of Pandora’s Box, with the central character of a London teenager in Africa. This project will give them the tools to answer the crucial personal questions, such as: what do I want to do in my life? What do I want to be? What do I love? What do I identify as my heritage? What groups do I identify with?

Youth-group sessions will creatively explore their response to the issues confronting the teenage boys in the play Pandora’s Box. Through a series of exercises, the workshop explores:

• Self-identity

• limiting stereotypes – exploring media representation of young black people

• Issues and challenges of family relationships among dual heritage African and Caribbean diaspora families

We are all part of something, whether it be a family, a class group at school, a music band, a football team. How do these loyalties sit with parent aspirations for young people from diaspora backgrounds? The workshop will look at issues of parent-child relationships in UK African families and conflicts, addressing concerns that are central to Pandora’s Box. The workshop empowers the young people to recognise effective expression and to communicate in ways that will make them heard, understood and respected.

The sessions will include:

• Themed discussions using stimulus from newspapers, online info, books, magazines, photography, art work, music.

• Writing sessions – encouraging participants to develop their unique voice through spoken word, music, writing and storytelling.

Through the exercises, the young people will build up their own dossier and develop a clearer insight into ways to approach some of the pressing concerns of their young lives.

PLAY IN FIVE DAYS – DEVISING

Participants explore the themes from the play and then create their own material in response to set tasks. The workshop will spark your imagination and encourage a collaborative approach to creating and performing a new ten-minute theatre piece. This workshop is led by Ade Solanke and a guest director.

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Some Pandora’s Box audience feedback:

“Have just returned – with my fifteen year old son – from Pandora’s Box. A wonderful, absolutely brilliant play and evening. We loved it. And have bought a copy of the play to enjoy again.”
Elizabeth Dudley, British-Nigeria Education Trust

“It inspired my son no end and he got to appreciate his roots and the sacrifices African parents make a lot more. Well done. My only regret is that the show hasn’t had a longer run. ”
Moses Anibaba, Director, British Council, Ghana

“Brilliant play. Fantastic cast. It was like a party no-one wanted to leave! Congratulations. You are outstanding and so is your writing. Poignant, hilarious, deeply affecting.” Juliet Alexander

“I loved your play. I laughed and cried. My daughter was equally impressed (and you know our teenagers tell it like it is and she was nothing but complimentary about it).”   Tess Essan, KICC

“Well done! The play had the audience enthralled.” Tolu Somolu

“Overheard someone on the bus saying how fab the play was and had to step in to say I’m going to see it too.”  Bolanle Okusanya

“Well done for putting on such an excellent play, with such powerful messages that resonate on many levels.”   Matilda Macattram, Director, Black Mental Health UK

“A brilliantly vibrant show and very vital. You found the perfect venue for it.”                          Lauren Gauge, Off West End Theatre Awards

“Congratulations on your show. Very thought-provoking, and spoke so directly to the audience. I loved it!”   Lynne Gaglianno, Education Officer, The Royal Court

“Went to see the play with a few friends. We came out laughing and discussing the issues.  It’s a brilliant piece of writing. Touched on not one but many dilemmas we face as part of a family and the diaspora. The buzz outside was as busy as any West End show I’ve been to.”      Marcia Sledge

“Pandora’s Box tonight was a brilliant no, excellent show. 10/10 for an excellent cast and an amazing story line …It was funny, well-written, spot on and some parts, thought provoking. Well done everyone.” Muka Mukss

“Morning. I felt the need to tell you AGAIN how much I thoroughly enjoyed Pandora’s Box. I am so proud of you, my sister.” Rosemary Laryea, Broadcaster Jazz FM

“Congrats on a brilliant, funny and moving script. I’m coming back again with my cousin tonight. Hope there’ll still be tickets!”  Rolake Akinkugbe

“This play is brilliantly written …The opening of Pandora’s Box symbolizes the effect of migration on African families.  It depicts the inter-generational and emotional difficulties that African (including West Indian) families experience in the pursuit of better economic opportunities abroad. This issue has been left untouched for too long”  Yaa Asantewa

“I was completely gripped by the story … the writing and the acting was superb. Thank you!” Catriona Silver, Collective Artistes

“Loved the play. I’m going to bring loads of my school children to see it. I’m even prepared to spend days and days completing the bureaucratic forms necessary! Keep me posted PLEEEEEEZE.” Penny Felix

“Well done! Congratulations! I keep meeting people who’ve watched the play and the feedback has been amazing!”  Ade Omoloja

“Big, big congratulations on Pandora’s Box. Thoroughly enjoyed it. This needs to tour!”         Alex Omo Pius, Iroko Theatre Company

“I so. so enjoyed the play. It was warm and funny and smart, and found the most marvelous balance between serious political critique, difficult family dynamic; between the specificity of Nigerian/UK experience and the universality of themes about home and loss and alienation and trans-generational conversations – I was thrilled to see so many people turning to each other and nudging each other and recognizing themselves and their family and friends on stage …”   Nadia David, Lecturer, Queen Mary College

“Congratulations! The storyline is so topical and the humour you used was hysterical … hard-hitting themes explored in such a creative and dramatic way really held the audience on the edge of their seats. West End transfer next, please!”  Olu Alakija

“ I must commend you once again for writing such a powerful play. I loved every minute of it. – the story was strong and the actors were brilliant too. A really accomplished piece – very cathartic too. Theatre should move and shake your soul and you managed to do that wonderfully.” Sheila Ruiz, Events Manager, Royal African Society

“Amazing, lively, heart-tugging play. A must see o! Arike Aiyetigbo

“Needs to tour” Chizzy Akudolu (Actress, Casualty)

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