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.
If you’re a seasoned stilt walker who loves playing exciting and energetic characters, we’d love to hear from you.
We’re expanding our team of Princesses, Maharajah’s and DJ’s and are looking for great character performers with oodles of enthusiasm.
We are looking for experienced stilt walkers but your own stilts and costumes are not required just a passion for outdoor performance and a love of characterisation.
Please send your CV, Showreel and covering letter to email@example.com no later than 31st August.
Have you seen Never set eyes on the Land, Chappal or In the Dhol Drums at an event this summer??
If so, we’d love your feedback! And best of all if you spare us 5 minutes you’ll be entered into a draw to win an iPad!!
Terms & Conditions apply and the winner will be announced toward the end of 2018.
Arts Council England support Nutkhut’s National initiative of incorporating Mela into the wider Outdoor Arts sector.
The Arts Council has announced an investment to support Made in Mela: a national partnership to integrate Mela into the wider outdoor arts sector.
A programme of high quality work will reach family audiences through Melas in Luton, Manchester, Newcastle, London, Tunbridge Wells and Sandwell & Birmingham.
Joyce Wilson, London Area Director, Arts Council England, said:
“The Arts Council is dedicated supporting and promoting art forms which reflect the nation we serve. Nutkhut’s project is an important step towards recognising the south Asian celebration of Mela as a vital part in our collective culture. Hundreds of families and children across the country will be introduced to it in the best possible way.
Khairul Alam, Chair of Manchester Mega Mela said:
‘This unique opportunity recognizes the impact Mela has made on the cultural landscape of the UK. For almost 30 years, Mela has quietly existed on the fringes of the arts sector, but has remained an important and central moment in the lives of our communities – this initiative brings Mela in to the mainstream.”
Ajay Chhabra co-Artistic Director Nutkhut, said:
“Mela brings people together. Made in Mela is an exciting programme to support, develop and strengthen the outdoor arts sector, through artistic exchange, professional development and opportunities for all audiences to experience the best of diverse outdoor work nationally.”
The funding is part of the Arts Council’s Strategic Touring Programme, which aims to give people better access to quality work in a range of venues to reach more people across the country, targeting places with low levels of art engagement and those that rely on touring for arts and culture. It welcomes applications for a wide range of arts on tour including, in particular, mid-scale theatre, inbound international work, and more work by and for people from diverse backgrounds.
In this round of the fund, there are nine successful applicants from London with a total investment of £1,389,779.
Information about the programme and application deadlines for future rounds can be found here.