Common Chorus Theatre

The Ghost of Stolen Summer

‘The Ghost of Stolen Summer’ R&D Sharing
Friday 13th September at 3pm (until approx.4pm)
Interplay Theatre in Armley, Armley Ridge Rd, Leeds LS12 3LE
Book your seat free of charge: https://www.interplaytheatre.co.uk/event/the-ghost-of-stolen-summer/
Or call: 0113 263 8556

Join Common Chorus Theatre for a sharing of material created in the development of our new show ‘The Ghost of Stolen Summer’. We will be sharing approx. 30 minutes of previously unseen storytelling and music followed by an opportunity for audience feedback on the material.

Created by our professional artist team; Emma Gordon, Claire Marie Seddon, Simon Brewis and Dick Bonham through residencies at Square Chapel, Leeds Playhouse, Interplay Theatre and Harrogate Theatre, this work had been made in response to learning from Common Chorus’ community and participatory theatre project ‘The Lonely Society’.

The Ghost of Stolen Summer

 Midsummer in the seaside town of Litherton. Everyone is getting ready for the annual Solstice Festival. People are excited. But there’s a violence buried deep in the ground that’s just about to surface.

Lily is living with a rare neurological condition and keeps seeing a ghost. But this is a ghost of her: of the Lily that could have been.

Michael is the local vicar. He’s about to face a tragedy that will rock his hard-won certainties.

A storm is brewing, something is gathering, and together they must find a way to stop it breaking over the town.

The Ghost of Stolen Summer is a folk horror fable featuring darkly comic storytelling and live music. Inspired by the real-life stories of people experiencing the impact of social isolation, this is a heartfelt tale about learning to live with the things we can’t control.

This project has been supported by grants from Arts Council England and Leeds Inspired.

The Lonely Society – Community Theatre Event

Buy tickets here: https://www.tickettailor.com/events/interactleeds

Join us for an evening of theatre, food and conversation that seeks to lift the lid on the great taboo of social isolation in the modern age. Most of us either have been, will be, or know someone who has been affected. Everyone is welcome. There will be a 30-minute community-created theatre show, a finger buffet and conversations that you can take part in or just sit back and listen.

This event is part of an ongoing series of works exploring the mental health impacts of social isolation and loneliness by Common Chorus theatre company. For more info about the project see: https://commonchorus.co.uk/the-lonely-society

Produced in Partnership with InterACT Church and Community Partnership.

Fri 22nd and Sat 23rd of February 2019
Stainbeck Church (downstairs hall; entrance from car park at back), Stainbeck Road, (LS7 2PP), Leeds
6.45pm – 8.45pm (doors at 6.30pm)
All tickets £10 including food and refreshments.

Buy tickets here: https://www.tickettailor.com/events/interactleeds
or alternatively call Ness on 07961535767

If you have been affected by the themes we are discussing and the ticket price is prohibitive, call/email Vanessa and arrangements will be made that allow you to join us: vanessa@interact.uk.net / 07961535767 

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Community Performers in Leeds Wanted – Let’s Talk About Loneliness

This February Common Chorus Theatre will be presenting a night of performance and discussion about one of our societies last great taboos; social isolation and loneliness. We are looking for community actors, musicians and storytellers to take part in a performance that will inspire this conversation.

Due to exceptional interest in this project, we have now closed recruitment for the community performance cast. If you want to join the waiting list please email Simon on simonmatthewbrewis@gmail.com 

Who – Our invitation is open to anyone whose life has been touched by social isolation, or who feels passionately that they have something to say about the mental health impacts of loneliness. We have learned that people can be affected by loneliness for all sorts of reasons, for example, the onset of disability, moving out as a young adult, getting older, being single, becoming a carer or becoming a new parent are just a few. If you have reason to join your voice to our ensemble, whether you are an experienced amateur performer or a complete novice, you are welcome.

What – As part of our ongoing project ‘The Lonely Society’, this Autumn our director Simon Brewis and guest writer Andrea Heaton have worked with a group of twelve community writers. They have created a brand new storytelling theatre script inspired by biographical stories and we are now looking for volunteer actors, musicians, singers, narrators, spoken word performers etc to help us bring it to life. The show takes around half an hour to perform and is for a cast of around 20 people. It will be the centrepiece of two evenings of performance, food and discussion about the mental health impacts of social isolation and loneliness; of course, our performers are very welcome to join the discussion.

Where and When – Rehearsals and performances will be at Stainbeck Church in Meanwood; Stainbeck Road, LS7 2PP. Starting on Saturday 5th January we will be rehearsing from 1.30-4pm every Saturday afternoon until the production week. In production week cast members will be needed on evenings 20th – 23rd February for rehearsals and performances.

How –Due to exceptional interest in this project, we have now closed recruitment for the community performance cast. If you want to join the waiting list please email Simon on simonmatthewbrewis@gmail.com

For more information about the wider context of this production see ‘The Lonely Society’

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Community Writers Wanted (near Leeds) – ‘The Lonely Society’

Community Writers Wanted in Leeds
‘The Lonely Society’ by Common Chorus Theatre
https://commonchorus.co.uk/the-lonely-society

For the next phase of our project ‘The Lonely Society’ Common Chorus theatre company are creating a script for a new community play that will explore the mental health impacts of social isolation and loneliness. We think that there is an important story to tell about how isolation impacts people’s wellbeing, and a surprising story to tell about how widespread the problem can be.

We are searching for people that understand this from their own life experience and are willing to volunteer to help us write a new short play about it. We are interested in hearing from anyone whose life has been affected, this could include;

  • People who have retired or are currently planning retirement
  • Adults living with a learning disability
  • People of working age with a disability or chronic illness that impedes their ability to work
  • People who care for someone with a chronic illness or disability
  • Young adults living away from their families
  • People who identify as LGBTQ+

Perhaps you have a unique perspective not listed above? Either way, if you have a story to tell about the mental health impacts of social isolation that you think others should hear, we would love to hear from you. You don’t need to have previous experience to take part, although those with an amateur interest in writing are very welcome.

Sessions will be a Holy Trinity Church in Meanwood, Leeds on Saturday afternoons between 1.30pm – 4pm from 22nd September – 3rd November + 17th November 2018.

This project has been planned with disability access in mind. All spaces are accessible and there is a small fund to help with transport costs for those who could not otherwise attend.

To get involved please express your interest before the end of Fri 7th September via to our online sign up form:

https://goo.gl/forms/rQDx7yTmzu5e6lYb2

Or if you prefer you can also call Simon on 07817649699.

We only have limited places so we may select the strongest candidates if we receive more expressions of interest that we can accommodate.

You can find out more about The Lonely Society project on our web site:

https://commonchorus.co.uk/the-lonely-society-more-information/

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Writer Required for New Community Short Play – Leeds

Writer Required for New Community Short Play – Leeds
‘The Lonely Society’ by Common Chorus Theatre
www.commonchorus.co.uk

Common Chorus:
We are a Leeds based theatre company who bring together people from different walks of life to enjoy stories that should be heard. Participation fuels our community theatre shows and distinguished touring productions with professional actors.

The Role:
For our next project, The Lonely Society, we will be exploring stories about the mental health impacts of social isolation and loneliness. We are looking for a writer with skills and experience in spoken word and / or verbal storytelling to help us create a storytelling performance script in collaboration with community participants. The writer will work alongside director Simon Brewis and dramaturge Dick Bonham to lead a series of workshops engaging community participants in the creative process. The writer will take a lead in producing a polished 30-40 minute performance script that reflects and develops the work of the group.

Job Specification and essential information:

  • Should ideally be based in the Leeds area and able to travel to Meanwood in Leeds for weekly workshops on Saturdays between 1pm – 4pm from 22nd September to the 3rd November 2018.
  • The final script must be accessible for performance by people with restricted mobility, hence the focus on spoken word or verbal storytelling.
  • Must have the ability and desire to make creatively ambitious work that engages community participants and collaborators.
  • Must have the ability to facilitate workshops.
  • Must have an understanding and experience of writing for theatre / performance.
  • There will be some planning and storyboarding meetings with the director and dramaturge as appropriate as well as workshop and writing time.
  • Deadline for creation of final script is 17th November 2018
  • The full fee including all expenses for the role is £2000 and you must be registered as self-employed.

To apply for the role please email Simon on simonmatthewbrewis@gmail.com before 5pm on Friday 17th August and include ‘Lonely Society Writer’ in the email title. Please include a CV and an extract of your previous work between 3 – 5 pages that showcases your appropriateness for the role.

If shortlisted candidates will be interviewed in the week commencing 20th August, although some flexibility will be accommodated if candidates are on summer holidays etc.

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The Lonely Society

During 2018 and 2019 Common Chorus Theatre embarked on a series of linked projects seeking to lift the lid on the great taboo of loneliness in the modern age. 

Part 1; Through the Autumn of 2018 our artist team ran workshops that gave voice to fictionalised biographical stories that unpacked experiences of social isolation. We worked with Parkinsons Halifax, Mind the Gap Academy, Carers Leeds, The Equity Partnership and the Don’t Call Me Old group in Armley. A team of twelve community writers then worked with Leeds based professional writer Andrea Heaton to shape these stories, and their own, into a 30-minute performance script.

Best

Part 2; In February 2019 as part of an evening of theatre, food and conversation, a cast of approx 20 volunteers performed the show. It was hosted by partners at InterACT at Stainbeck Church Hall to two sell-out audiences. You can see full video documentation of the show here.

Part 3; Based upon what we have learned from part 1 and 2, Artistic Director Simon Brewis has teamed up with Writer Dick Bonham and Actors Emma Gordon and Claire Marie Seddon to research and develop a new touring theatre show. After residencies at Square Chapel, Leeds Playhouse, Interplay Theatre and Harrogate Theatre they will be sharing approx. 30 minutes of original storytelling and music at a work in progress sharing on the 13th September 2019 at Interplay Theatre.

The show is called – The Ghost of Stolen Summer.

To come along you can book your ticket here: https://www.interplaytheatre.co.uk/event/the-ghost-of-stolen-summer/

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Follow on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/commonchorustheatre/
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