Ashiana Community Project in Sparkbrook commissioned by Birmingham Repertory Theatre.

Our work:

In 2018 Run The World was commissioned by The Birmingham Rep as part of the Furnace Project to make a piece of theatre with, by and for the community.

The project focused on working with women from Ashiana Community Project in Sparkbrook. Our journey through the exercise sessions and theatre workshops was recorded over six months and with the women as co-creators, culminated in a piece of audio theatre where you, the ‘audience’, was invited to listen to the stories whilst experiencing the same work-out sessions the women from Ashiana had been taking part in. 

The feedback both from the participants and the audience was fantastic and showed the project had a huge impact on participants involved in the project and spectators that came on the tour. One participant of the project, after revisiting the stories commented;

“It was good to be able to listen and reflect on how far we have come since that first session and it was good being able to share your story with other people, it was a bit emotional at times but also good because it allowed me to see how far I have come. It has made realise I am not alone in this situation and together we can help each other, it has definitely helped with my confidence, we need to do projects like this in different areas and help other women.”

A public listener on the tour felt;

“I’m reassured that I’m not alone in my experiences, proud of the ladies, grateful, yes reminds me there are people struggling and to be compassionate and kind, found the stories really empowering” 

Other comments from the public included;

“The audio walking tour was amazing but sad as I know how they felt”

“Great to have what I hear often captured in such a way. Great, to tell the story of a few that relates to many.”

“Yes, it was just like my story in someone else’s words. Need more running groups like this. Just felt it’s not just me, there are other people in same situation.”

Practitioners that came on the tour commented;

“So many different emotions some of the stories were powerful but very sad! I work within the same area so am aware of issues and feelings but yes this deepened my perspective, very powerful and moving. Excellent and inspiring.”

Overall the project had both an impact on the participant and as a listener on the audio tour. It highlighted the ‘power of groups’, and many felt we needed “more work like this to highlight people’s experiences of loneliness.” It had a profound impact on those that were involved and highlighted the power of being socially connected and sharing stories to help people understand the impact and cause of loneliness.

Be inspired and listen to the unique piece of audio theatre created by the wonderful women of Sparkbrook and Ashiana Community Project and a short promotional video below.

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