A Year at Common Space
In 2021, there has been lots going on at Common Wealth Theatre, but one thing we would like to celebrate as we wind down for the year is the amazing success of our community arts space – Common Space. Common Space has been a particularly interesting project for us as a company and has taught us a lot about the community we work in, what it means to run a space and the direction we want to head in for future creative projects. We managed to transform a run down ex-youth unemployment centre into a welcoming and colourful space to meet, create and celebrate in the heart of Bradford town centre.
As a company, we laugh about the space has a life of its own and how at times we have had to battle it! However, I think I can speak for all of us when I say how hugely proud I am that we have managed to make the most of this wonderful building and allow brilliant artists, young people and community members to make the most of it too! Common Space has given us a way of connecting with new people and reconnecting with old friends after a year where many of us felt disconnected and frustrated by the lack of opportunities to be creative the year before.
Across the year we have hosted 5 R&Ds and two audition days for external local theatre companies, panel discussions with political activists, a monthly podcast, multiple workshops for the community, a festival, band rehearsals, an exhibition, a gig, as well as working with the Youth Service and external arts organisations to host music, dance and art projects for young people from Bradford every week.
It has certainly been very busy but we have learnt a lot, and are now very settled into our lovely company home on John Street. We have been so inspired by the amazing people who have been working with us at Common Space in 2021 and it has certainly given us plenty of ideas for our future projects so keep your eyes peeled as we will have lots in store for the new year. We can’t wait to fill our building with more ambition and exciting possibilities.