I’ve previously written about Kensal Voices, a year-long intergenerational heritage project run by the SPID (Specially Produced Innovatively Directed) Theatre Company to assist and help young participants gain professional creative skills as well as marking the history of this Grade II* listed local landmark. Most recently, we wrote about the free guided tours of Kensal House that took place in November, which saw project participants (aged from 13 to 25) conduct fifteen minute guided walks in and around the different areas of the property.
Now, the conclusion of the Kensal Voices project takes place on 22nd February 2014 – a performance entitled Stories in Residence: Tales of the Sunshine Flats. The show will see a mixture of live performances from the project participants and recorded interviews with former and long-time residents of Kensal House, telling the story of the hopes and dreams intended for the building and resurfacing some forgotten tales. Pop-up scenes will re-imagine past events all over the estate, from the celebration of King George’s coronation in 1937, to families experiencing post-war difficulties in 1951, through to cultural diversities in 1974. Emerging back in 2014, the audience will then be able to celebrate and share the achievements of the Kensal Voices participants’ achievements since the project was started in April 2013.
Over forty young people have worked on the project since its launch, exploring the life and times of Kensal House from its opening in 1937 through to the present day. Having been assisted by industry professionals from many different disciplines, they will leave behind an impressive legacy – including a brochure and an original music track inspired by the building; and valuable oral history testimonies of residents, which can be experienced in this final production.
Having personally also joined one of the above-mentioned tours that took place in November, I can thoroughly recommend taking the time to see what the project’s participants are doing, as well as learning more about Kensal House itself, by attending this final production. I clearly wasn’t the only that enjoyed the November tours – some of the outstanding feedback that they received included:
“Absolutely delightful. Beautifully organised, everyone was very helpful and well informed.”
“Really great to come into Kensal House and to meet the confident and informed tour guides.”
“Tour was excellent- so impressed with knowledge and manner of our tour guides.”
A Q&A session will also take place after the second performance of the day – experts from the fields of architecture and performance will be speaking, including Dr Elizabeth Darling, Reader in Architectural History at Oxford Brookes University and author of Re-forming Britain: Narratives of Modernity before Reconstruction (2007); Gurmeet Sian, RIBA Chartered Architect from Office Sian based in East London; and Professor Sally Mackey, Professor for Applied Theatre and Performance at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama.
Stories in Residence: Tales of the Sunshine Flats
1pm & 4pm, Saturday 22nd February 2014