Derby Theatre announce new city-wide project DERBY RISES

Derby Theatre logo.jpg

Derby Rises

Part of Derby CAN
(Creative Arts Network)

Sunday 27 September, 2020
Derby Theatre

Derby Theatre and partners celebrate easing out of quarantine and lockdown with community co-creation project

To celebrate the city’s emergence and easing out of lockdown and quarantine, Derby Theatre and partners of Derby CAN (Creative Arts Network) are thrilled to announce Derby Risesa radical combination of newly commissioned artistic pieces of work, community-based workshops and an evening of celebration and entertainment at Derby Theatre on Sunday 27 September.

Derby Rises is a citywide version of The Bakery of Slow Ideas; a community art practice created by Leo Kay from London-based Unfinished Business. Together, Leo and Project Collaborator Anna Smith, make interactive and intimate performance, working with both artists and non-artists in the UK and throughout Europe. For Derby Rises, they are currently working with Derby Theatre, various community groups, artists, and partners from the region to creatively explore the themes of hope, identity and how we emerge as a city from lockdown through this concept.

The roots of The Bakery of Slow Ideas are based on a desire to nurture healing communication, to allow communities space to have a meaningful dialogue, to digest together and to allow for emergent ideas to arise from this interaction. Whether that community be within an arts context or within a culturally, socially or experience specific context, the aspirations stay the same. The fact that the communities that we are engaging with in this specific process are not often afforded space to be seen and heard within contemporary urban culture, makes their engagement all the more important.

Community Workshops

Since early July, Leo Kay, Derby CAN Partners, and the commissioned artists have collaborated with various community groups : the LGBTQ+ community; the New Arrivals, Asylum Seekers and Refugee community and a newly formed group who identify as Working Class.   

The workshops explore each community group’s response to the pandemic, their personal manifestos for the future, and their hopes for their city. The commissioned artists are attending each workshop to develop and create a short performance in response to each community’s contributions which will be performed at the Theatre on Sunday 27 September. 

On Sunday 27 September, the overall project will culminate in a socially distanced cabaret-style performance and celebration at Derby Theatre, which will also be livestreamed.  The performance will bring together the content of the workshops, presented as artistic responses to each community group’s work. The artists who will perform on the evening, and those involved at the workshop stage, are: Jamie Thrasivoulou (an award-winning writer, poet, lyricist, and educator from Derby); Amy Pennington (an artist who makes work using humour to connect human experiences and socio-political issues); Symoné (a hula hoop artiste, dancer, roller-skater and Vaudeville Dynamo);  and Mr Supreme (a UK rap artist based in the East Midlands). On the evening, each artist will perform their short response piece and a performance poet will perform a new poem inspired by the words displayed and contributed via the Graffiti Wall. Sinfonia VIVA, a British, award-winning orchestra from Derby, will play a short set from a string quartet at the event and Derby Jazz, a long-established organisation who support and develop Jazz in the city, will also perform.

An invited audience on the night will include members of the community involved in the workshops, their friends, and families plus an allocation of tickets available to members of the public.  

To complement this, from Monday 21 until Saturday 26 September, a Graffiti Wall will be erected on Cathedral Green in the city, a creative space that will be accessible to the public to add their thoughts and dreams for their respective communities post-lockdown. Project partner, Baby People, a music and arts development organisation based in the city, the UK’s first dedicated Hip Hop school which uses art and culture to engage and support the needs of the most deprived in our communities, will engage with various groups to decorate the wall throughout the week, to enhance contributions from the public. As part of this, local graffiti artists will run drop-in workshops for the public as part of the Derby Festé art trail.

Derby Rises is part of Derby CAN (Creative Arts Network), a 3-year, multi-partner Arts Council England £1.5 million funded project to work, co-curate and co-create with different communities, to support and strengthen the performing arts sector in the local area. The project partners include: Baby PeopleChina PlateCrying Out LoudDédaDerby City CouncilDerby County Community Trust, In Good Company, Maison FooMilk Presents, Not Too Tame, QUAD, University of Derby and Wild Rumpus

The Derby Rises celebration event will be on Sunday 27 September and will take place at Derby Theatre from 7.30pm.