Leaps & Bounds

Inspiring Change

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Further Information

Wrosne is the Anglo Saxon name for link in a chain and saw this project linking young people from two estates either side of Wrens Nest in Dudley. The project started in May 2007 working 60 young people over 18 months and culminated in eleven sold out performances staged in the caverns of the Dudley Limestone Mines.

 

The young people were taken on a unique journey of personal development, one to one pastoral support and professionally led arts activity. They helped to devise the theatrical performance alongside a team of professional artists resulting in an outstanding performance. Geological fossils such as the Trilobyte (fondly known as the Dudley Bug) and the rock formation of the seven sisters informed the creation of the work led by Dudley's Keeper of Geology.

 

The production created an additional challenge by being performed in the mines beneath Dudley with access only by canal and boat. The production took audiences on two boats through the canal tunnels to the underground singing cavern and created unique performance sites such as a floating pontoon, a ledge in a cave, a cantilevered platform overhanging the canal, a stage within the cave and video projections onto the rock surface. The story was told by theatrical skippers and the Wrosne sisters on the boats, dancers on the canal path, singers and live musicians on the boat and in the singing cavern, performers in masks on a stage in the cave, and new media projections onto rock surfaces and screens.

 

The outcomes from this project have exceeded all expectations with all performances sold out and 98% of the audiences saying it was good or excellent. The BBC filmed excerpts of the show which was seen on BBC 1 on Inside Out on 15th October 2008. 32 young people gained a BTEC in Performing Arts and 10 are going on to take Performing Arts Courses at Further Education College. The project started with 27 people classified as Not in Education or Employment of Training (NEET) and only 1 remains in this situation at the end of the project.

 

The young people have since performed on centre stage at Birmingham's artsFest and one young person from the project was invited to the National Youth Theatre summer school in London.

 

Leaps & Bounds worked in partnership with local resources such as Dudley Canal Trust, the Black Country Living Museum, Dudley Performing Arts Team, Ruskin Glass College and local choir Stream of Sound. The project linked local artists with nationally known artists, the National Youth Theatre and Youth at Risk.