Working with people and sharing our practice is at the heart of what we do. Common Wealth workshops can be one hour or 5 days. Whatever workshop length we have, some essentials are at the core – working with our instincts and making something from nothing.
We endeavour to show that being an artist, making something, is central to us all, it’s part of being human – being inventive, responsive, building, making, playing.
From a 3-day residential with survivors of domestic abuse to making a site-specific play in 5 days with a cast of 25, to running workshops for artists and facilitators. We’re open to lots of ways of working and looking at different ways we can develop, learn and share our process as a company.
Where possible we like to work as a company to facilitate, which means workshops can include electronic music, visual design and writing.
ALL THE THINGS YOU EVER WANTED TO SAY
Whilst working on Our Glass House we developed a workshop for survivors of domestic abuse called ‘All the things you ever wanted to say’ which was a three-day residential for women who have survived domestic abuse, and their children.
Common Wealth worked with Imayla, a Bristol based charity to facilitate a beautiful trip away to Devon, Imayla provided childcare and nature/art walks for the children and Common Wealth worked with the women to explore All the things you ever wanted to say. The first day we concentrated on all the things you wanted to say to yourself, the second day was all the things you would want to say to your ex-partner/partner and the third day looked at the all the things you would say to your future.
Feedback from participants:
“Leaving I feel empowered and more ready for life, doing things I never thought I would or never had the confidence to do”
“Faced some of my emotions and seen I’m not alone”
“I have had a lovely time, feel young again and ready to focus on my life, feel liberated”
We worked with Curve in Leicester to develop a site-specific piece of theatre for the NCP car park for Inside Out Festival in May 2016 working with their associate groups including a bollywood dance group, youth theatre, break dancers, choirs and more.
“Excellent … A fragile and touching snapshot of the hopes and dreams of a city.” – Lyn Gardner, Guardian
Read more on ‘Football unites cities, can theatre ever do the same?’ here –
HOW TO BE BETTER
We worked with Contact’s Young Company to create a 2015 Christmas show How to be Better “full of confetti and confession” for the main theatre at Contact, Manchester. It felt like an adventure into honesty with our audience, even creating Truth Booths at the end where wisdom from our audience was accumulated every night. We devised the show with the young company over 4 weeks and also worked alongside Level Up the young musicians who composed powerful, original music for the show and then performed live.
“Here are their worries, but here too are some of the ways they think they, and we the wider community, can face them. Not giving in, but creating changes, big and small. Not just learning someone else’s words and acting out a role. Here they are on a stage, being a version of themselves.” – Laura Maley, Cultural Shenanigans
For more read this great, thoughtful review here: Cultural Shenanigans Review
Feedback from audience (via Twitter):
“Fantastically inventive; funny, intelligent, thought-provoking, inspiring and moving”
“Thought provoking, fresh, intelligent theatre – you’ve never seen Space 1 used this way”
“The best kind of theatre – honest and inspiring”
We deliver site-specific theatre workshops that aim to give drama and performance teachers ideas and approaches to making site-specific theatre. We are experienced facilitators and will work with you to design something for your school or college.
We’re currently working with MESMAC to deliver workshops in schools around LGBT identities. Whilst working on No Guts, No Heart, No Glory we worked extensively with young women with workshops about being fearless, brave and doing the unexpected.
With Our Glass House we worked with young people making theatre about healthy relationships and domestic abuse.
Common Wealth deliver sessions for artists and other theatre practitioners across the UK. Our workshops are an insight into our practice and how we make work, they are practical and fun and involve an introduction into verbatim, devising, writing and staging site-specific work. By the end of the workshop we will usually have made a mini ‘show’.
We are also available to speak at panels / discussions, anywhere that will have us! We normally get asked to speak about engaging people new to theatre as actors and participants, approaches to sensitive material, political theatre and site-specific theatre.