There were two evening performances in the Heritage Micropub at Halfway. We were made to feel very welcome by the pub landlord Melvin, who entertained us with tales of the local community spirit whilst we set up. The first performance was mostly a family audience, whilst the second later performance was more adults. The pub was full on both occasions, with an impressive array of witches on show (both fictional and in the flesh).
The Sheerness story was a fictional tale inspired by a series of key historical island events, including, Queen Sexburgha, the floods, the building of the Sheerness Dockyard, and the Pier. The tale links these moments in time through a mythical character called the Sea Witch. Members of the audience we invited to take part in chanting made up spells and making sounds with shell strings and plastic jellyfish. The performance ends with two very long hand painted slides which contain fantastical images of an underwater world of greed, vice and debauchery within which the Sea witches dwell.
The workshop held at Minster Gatehouse Museum on Saturday 1st November was a great success. Families and adults joined in. Some people learnt about Magic Lanterns and how they worked, whilst others had a go at tracing and painting their own slide. The afternoon was full of rich discussion surrounding the wealth of Heritage on Sheppey and how it inspires so much creativity.
Documenting a performance which happens in the dark is a bit tricky. Here are a few attempts!
Island Projects team Nicole Mollett and Jeanine Woollard run a tester workshop at Love Sheppey on the 23rd August. It was a great success, with 20 participants of a mix of ages. People took real effort and care in painting some really beautiful and fun slides, using a range of inspirational source books or working free hand.
Those taking part could also return once their artwork had dried and see it being projected in the small tent behind the workshop. Visitors also signed up for our future performances, and newsletter mailing list. We look forward to be able to present a final show to them in the near future.