Theatre and film makers from Hallucinating Angels collective listened to and filmed local people talking about their journeys from the domestic to the epic using shoes as the trigger.
This took place in an empty shop in Bexhill town centre with interviewees talking about the shoes they were wearing or a special pair they brought with them. The shop was transformed by screenings of the interviews and a growing collection of shoes. This simple idea accessed stories of profundity, sweetness, humour, fragility, overcoming, discovery and many more.
The next step was to edit a short documentary film of the stories. At the same time a theatre script was created using the words of some of the interviewees. The film and a performance were staged in the De La Warr Pavilion on 5th November 2014.
Many of the people who contributed to SHOES had never before been a part of any kind of theatre, film or art project. Whilst the performance remained true to the spirit of the stories and their tellers the company, many of whom were over sixty, had an opportunity to experiment with creative responses in music, dance and acting.
The contributors, actors, musicians and dancers were entirely drawn from the community.
One of Hallucinating Angels aims is to explore the conversion of ʻordinaryʼ life into ʻartʼ in an experience which can encompasses self-recognition and transformation for contributors, participants and audiences.
No social class, cultural, educational or political institution owns our stories and what they can teach us if we share them.
We want to create an arena where our humanity can be recognised as unique, precious and capable of change in the simple act of ‘witnessing’. SHOES reminded us of how magical life can be when we speak and someone listens without self-interest.
The simplicity and profundity of SHOES could be of value to any community but it could have a special role to play in communities where ʻconflict resolutionʼ is a pressing issue.
If you would like to know more about the work of our collective which has been in development for the last three years or wish to contact us about the possibility of working with your community please go to our Contact Page.
The following comments were made by members the audience and the company:
‘2 halves of show fitted together perfectly’
‘refreshing revelations and insights’
‘loved listening to other peoples life stories’
‘loved the variety of people’
‘liked validating the stories by performing them’
‘liked the non-judgemental way the film was edited’
‘makes me want to be part of an art project’
‘liked the inclusion of an eclectic group of people’
‘the ordinary made extraordinary’
‘loved it – true mindfulness’
‘I liked the bit where my Mum was on’
‘fascinating and moving meeting people from all walks of life’
‘I loved it being filmed as it was being performed’
‘a fab performance’
‘I liked the stories, the humanity, the links, the whole style of presentation’
‘I liked seeing an older and young cast’
‘the openness and honesty of it’
‘local,global,universal stories, joyful, happy and very meaningful, thoughtful and spiritual, ‘fabulous, great evening’
‘mixture of music and dialogue and dance – poetry in life’
‘it was heart warming and real’
‘really poignant and the stage layout was lovely’
‘liked the informality of the stage layout’
‘live performance is for me the essence of the arts’
‘interesting balance between the documentary and creative interpretation’
‘liked the philosophy of the performance – bringing people together, hearing what they had to say’