A chance conversation in Stockton High Street in 2012, resulted in a friendship and connection which has taken us on parades, worked with rural communities in County Durham and now exciting conversations in Cumbria. Julie Ward MEP for the North West has an infectious appetite for bringing people together. A few emails, a few phone calls later, resulted in this.
We were VERY pleased to meet with Adrian Lochhead and Heather Walker of Eden Arts. The meeting, brought about by MEP Julie Ward and attended by Eden District Council Leader Kevin Beaty was the first step in what we hope will be a really fruitful partnership. Julie had first thought of Mela in Cumbria when the Cumbria floods brought a fantastic response from the Muslim community that saw people come to give their time to travel to Cumbria to help with the clean up and show caring and love and compassion. She suggested that Ajay get in touch with Adrian to see if they would be interested in talking about how we could work together – and of course, they said yes!
Kevin is always supportive of looking at how we can bring new initiatives to Cumbria that might help us to further our mutual objectives of making Eden an even more fantastic place to live in and to visit. We very much appreciate that he’s prepared to give his time to join in with discussions like this. Adrian is a dude, Heather is a dude, Kevin is doo–er and can make it happen and Julie is amazing. A Perfect Storm!
So…… SO….! let’s see… we are on it…. #workingforeden #workingforcumbria #workingtogether #adrian
The epic story of a kingdom, of exile and intrigue
and when darkness turns to light.
‘The Oil was sizzling awaiting the syrup with care,
In hopes that Jalebis soon would be there’
This Autumn, Nutkhut embarks on a unique and ambitious re-telling of the story of Diwali, making it accessible to a wider audience, yet retaining, at its heart a story of families and friends from this epic tale.
The Nutkhut team grew up with Diwali, we’ve read the epic front to back, back to front and upside down – as kids we’d boo and hiss at the baddies, at school we’d be singled out to share the story during whole school assemblies and as adults we are on a mission to make the story accessible to a wider audience.
On par with the epic Greek poem, Homer’s Illiad. We have taken little known moments of the Ramayana and applied theatrical techniques. We split between the present and the past and embark on the story at bedtime, with brothers and sisters excited and restless………………………
How are we doing it? With over 700 participants, 16 young South Asian artists, 25 elders, 8 oversized umbrellas, 2 thrones and a light sabre! An intergenerational, multi art form spectacle!
We are making lanterns, diyas and rangoli. Sourcing and creating costume, cutting and merging live and recorded music, making props and editing film and projections. Phew!
What have we been doing? Over the past few months, we’ve spent weekends and evenings supporting, mentoring and rehearsing with over 75 young people from North Kent and Bexley, both areas of low arts engagement and disadvantaged communities.
Our approach with this project has been to involve everyone – we don’t do things in halves – it’s the participants that have created the story – that have made choices and have engaged in the entirety of the key decisions. We are turning the making of theatre on its head, breaking down the hierarchies and involving and encouraging new artists, new ideas, families and young people, integrating dance, lanterns, music, projections and video mapping. We’ve brought together a small team of professionals to take the lead, who’ve been on similar Diwali journeys and very rarely get these types of opportunities, to support the process, mentor and train the participants and to ultimately develop a new generation of dedicated Diwali Makers from culturally diverse backgrounds.
When? Sat 3 Nov 4.30pm – 7pm
Where? Townley Grammar School, Kent
Cost? FREE – access, access, access is our mantra – where we can, our projects are free to public.
For more information or if you’d like to get involved please contact us via email, phone or drop in.
Remembrance Sunday – earlier this year Dr Blighty paid its respects to soldiers of the Empire who fought in both World War’s and conflicts which followed. These soldiers and families have largely been forgottern and do not appear in our news items, in our history books and are not taught in our schools. Culture and Art brings people together and can make a small contribution to re-address our collective memory.
A Nutkhut production co-commissioned by 14-18 NOW: WW1 Centenary Art Commissions, Brighton Festival, and Royal Pavilion & Museums, Brighton & Hove. Supported by the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund and Arts Council England, QED, and by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.
1.5 Million Indian men went to war.
2,500 awoke in a palace…
‘As part of Britain’s Centenary Anniversary of the First World War Nutkhut presented an ambitious programme of immersive performances and installations based in Brighton’s Royal Pavilion Garden which bring the past into the present, immersing the audience in the untold history of these brave soldiers, so far from home, fighting the war of other men.’
Against all the odds, the ZEE London Mela returned for 2016 in a new home at Wembley Park last September! It was a huge challenge for all involved to bring the usual Mela Magic to such a new and different venue, but thanks to the hard work of some amazing people and performers – WE DID IT!
If you didn’t manage to make it this year – check out the video below, and get ready for updates for what’s to come in 2017!