homecoming

Nominated for Best Event Teeside at The Journal Culture Awards 2014

‘Visually & aurally stunning – crackling with emotion.’ Northern Echo

This large-scale surround performance tells the stories of our ancestors on the home-front and front-lines during the First World War. Homecoming explores the impact of war on communities – the changing roles of women, the heartbreak and loss to families, and the unique stories of individuals – from acts of bravery and kindness to the tragedy of teenagers shot at dawn.

Homecoming is a touring project adapted and localised for each new town. It is designed for major local participation, and collaboration with local researchers, museums and archivists to tell the real stories of local people. It features dynamic 360 degree action, pyrotechnics and silent film-style digital projections showing original footage and photographs from the time and the locality.

‘Visually & aurally stunning – the show crackled with pyrotechnics, music & sound effects, not to mention emotion. There was time to reflect on the months that led up to the outbreak of war, when the people of Darlington faced poverty and industrial unrest, coupled with the looming hostilities. The show examined the call to arms made to the men of Darlington – and countless towns, cities and villages – as well as the vital role played by the women those men left behind. One of the most emotional parts of the show came when the company recreated the countless moments when families were informed that their loved ones had been injured or killed in battle. The sacrifice made by those who laid down their lives in the First World War was commemorated with a spectacular explosion of poppy-red tickertape. The assembled crowd broke out into spontaneous applause.’
Northern Echo

Commissioners:

‘Thank you so much for another FANTASTIC performance!! Please pass on my thanks to the team for all their support, effort and hard work!’
Lesley Strickland, Cultural Events Officer, Hartlepool

‘I wanted to say thank you for all your hard work, producing and delivering a fantastic event. We have had great reviews and comments both verbally and on Facebook.’
Philip Douglas, Cultural Services Officer, Middlesbrough Council


Audience:

‘Just absolutely perfect.’

‘Powerful & amazing.’

‘Professional, exciting and emotional.’

‘Very moving – amazing.’

‘A spectacular performance of 'Homecoming', with amazing and effective sound, pyrotechnics and poetry. Incredibly and breathtakingly emotional and heart rendering.’

‘That was a cracking show put on over the Headland tonight! Very emotional, and when the Bombardment Pyrotechnic display started you really felt it! Well done for that show!’

‘So real! Must have been a few tear stained cheeks in the audience, mine certainly were!’

‘Their portrayal of our bombardment and following events was magnificent.’

‘A huge congratulations for the performance at Hartlepool the homecoming. Every sense felt the power and emotion of the show. My 3 year old son thought it was amazing. I hope to see your breathtaking spectacular again.’

Homecoming is localised for each town through collaboration with local museums, researchers and archives. It has several participation strands in the lead-up and through the performance itself:

  • A Letter-Writing Project for schools – young learners respond to an original letter from a local soldier written from the front, writing a postcard back from the perspective of their lives now. The letters are gathered and used as part of a letter-drop effect during the show, to be taken away by audience members.
  • Local people can contribute stories, letters and photographs from relatives from the time of WW1 which may be included in the films and the depicted stories of the show.
  • Performance participation for up to 35 local people aged 16+, can include school/college groups. Workshops/rehearsals take place for several hours over 2 days leading up to performance day.

Show:
Site-responsive outdoor night-time theatrical spectacle.

Format:
Promenade & surround action between fixed stage areas.

Playing area:
Adaptable, usually 60m x 40-50m flat, level ground, the show has played smaller, larger and unusual spaces.

Sites:
Town square, heritage, industrial & regeneration sites, green spaces.

Audience:
Up to 3,000 people, all ages.

Company:
15 people.

Show length:
50-60 mins.

Freight:
1 x 20’ container or 1 x 7.5t truck.

Participation:
Can include between 15-35 local volunteers.

Additional:
Workshops specialising in site-specific theatre, often lead to exciting public performances.

Full Promoters’ Pack and DVD available on request.

photo: Doug Moody

photo: Parkin Photography

photo: Doug Moody