a man and a woman dance at a bar

Moving Roots


Moving Roots

Common Wealth was part of Moving Roots, a collective of arts organisations from across the UK: Battersea Arts Centre (London), The Old Courts (Wigan), Restoke (Stoke) and Jumped Up Theatre (Peterborough) and Common Wealth (Cardiff).

Moving Roots ran from 2020 – 2023. Common Wealth worked together in collaboration with the people of CF3 and artists to explore pioneering new ways to co-create, make, stage and tour live performance. Across the three years, we brought three live performances to Cardiff East, staging them within (and transforming) existing community spaces. You can read a report we’ve written which reflects on co-creation, collaboration & approaches in Moving Roots here.

There were numerous opportunities to get involved – from being part of the creative team, helping to steer the project, front of house opportunities, stage management roles plus many others.

We recruited a Sounding Board for Moving Roots, made up of people from Cardiff East. They helped us develop, shape and grow ideas for the co-created shows that will be coming to Cardiff East. You can find out more about the original Sounding Board and their ideas here. The Sounding Board have become a crucial part of the team in Cardiff and continue help steer our work here – you can see who’s currently part of it on the Common Wealth team page.

Definition of Co-Creation

Co-creation delegates leadership to participants and invites a wider range of voices, encouraging dialogue that continues beyond the immediate life of the project itself. It challenges hierarchies and gives people agency to shape the project, be the author of their stories, and make what they want to see in their hometown. The project works with artists as visionaries, skilled communicators and social provocateurs.

Moving Roots Manifesto

  1. We will not use jargon, and make sure language and process is clear and de-mystyifed
  2. We will  be receptive to gifts
  3. The work will be artistically excellent
  4. We will not use jargon, and make sure language and process is clear and de-mystyifed
  5. “Not about us, without us”
  6. The project will encourage people to be more active in their own lives/ community
  7. The project will enable people to blow up old narratives & practice new ones
  8. Where possible, support the onward progression of people; take them beyond volunteering and give access to paid work
  9. Dig deeper
  10. The project will make people feel differently

The Posh Club

A conga dance

The Posh Club was the third production to tour to East Cardiff.  A glamorous performance and social club for older people (60+), the Posh Club is held regularly across London and the South East of England. Common Wealth worked with Duckie to bring the Posh Club to St Mellons, East Cardiff for a Christmas spectacular in December 2023 and its first-ever Welsh outing!

The three-and-a-half hour event is styled as a tongue-in-cheek ‘posh’ 1940’s afternoon tea with three live show business turns, waiters in black tie, vintage crockery and cabaret. A glamorous event for 150 participants, held in the heart of the community, it elegantly transformed St Mellons Hub Community Centre. The audience were invited to dress up, experience live performances, be together and indulge in a good dose of Christmas cheer.

See Val and Marina get ready for the Posh Club in Gavin Porter’s film

Read Sophie Lindsey’s blog about her experience of The Posh Club

See more photos from the event

Epic Fail

Three children stand, leaning backwards. They look like they are having fun.

Epic Fail is the second co-created production to tour with Moving Roots.

What if failure was a virtue, to be cherished like success is?
If it was, would we all feel better?

Kid Carpet, Common Wealth and the school children of Llanrumney have been talking, creating, playing and getting things wrong. They have created rubbish robots, sung songs, worn fake moustaches and (unfortunately) invented fizzy milk.

Through two residencies at Glan Yr Afon Primary School Llanrumney, Kid Carpet, Common Wealth and the Year 5 pupils will co-create a performance made with and for young people and their families. EPIC FAIL – It doesn’t have the answers but it does have the best songs, nonsense telly adverts and umbrellas for your shoes.

Epic Fail will be shown to audiences in June 2022 at Glan Yr Afon Primary School, Llanrumney.

As part of the Moving Roots Touring Network, Epic Fail will also be showing in new incarnations co-created in Peterborough, Stoke and Wigan throughout Summer 2022.

Rent Party

Women wearing a tracksuit dancing with balloons in the background

Rent Party was the first show chosen by the Moving Roots Network to tour. It came to Cardiff East in Autumn 2021 and was the party we’d all been waiting for – a 21st century immersive show inspired by the 1920s Harlem Renaissance Rent Parties.

Acclaimed choreographer and director Darren Pritchard reimagined his 5-star smash hit show Rent Party and co-created together with Common Wealth and a cast of extraordinarily talented artists from South Wales. They put their working class community centre-stage in a dazzling cabaret of performances, telling their own stories about the true cost of austerity Britain.

Find out more about Rent Party: visit the show page, listen to the Rent Party Podcasts or watch the trailer and audience feedback films.

Derived from an original show, Rent Party, co-written by Cheryl Martin and Darren Pritchard, produced by Jayne Compton, dramaturged by Sonia Hughes, commissioned by Homotopia, and supported through Javaad Alipoor as part of his Changemaker stint at Sheffield Crucible.