From Monday (4th of March) 10 of the area’s libraries will enter the world of Alluriat - an immersive and interactive theatrical adventure for 7-11 year olds. Presented by Cheshire based theatre company Forest Tribe – this original production is aimed at enticing local schools and children to engage with and see their local public spaces in a whole new light, showcasing how art in libraries need not be restricted to story hour.
Book shelves, reading spaces and meeting rooms will transform into a watery wonderland to tell the tale of Alluriat - a bond that seems unbreakable beneath the waves. Told by two performers – Purvi Parmar and Jennifer Kay - using puppetry, illusion and physical theatre, this bold new show fuses stunning visuals and state-of-the-art digital technology to explore themes of love and division, nurture and abandonment and environmental change.
Directed and choreographed by Forest Tribe Artistic Director, Debbie Bandara, and written by artist, sculptor and blacksmith David Freedman, based on his original poem of the same name, Alluriat creates a unique and interactive world for young audiences outside a traditional theatre setting, and offers a learning experience outside the confines of a classroom - to engage children with high quality live performance and their local libraries.
Starting in Wythenshawe Forum Library on March 4th and taking in a number of libraries including Longsight, Manchester Central, Salford, Trafford, Abraham Moss, North City (Harpurhey), Oldham, Blackburn and Stockport before concluding in Bolton on Thursday 21st March – this two week tour is open to local school children from the surrounding areas who have been specially invited to experience this original and groundbreaking production and to take part in accompanying workshops and tours of their local library. Its compact and visually arresting set will transform each of these public spaces into a performance area both exciting and new to delight audiences, expand young minds and bring creativity into the learning experience.
Andrew Orr from Blackburn with Darwen Library Service, who has been instrumental in putting this unusual tour together with Forest Tribe comments: “We were thrilled to have this opportunity of showcasing our libraries to local schools and enabling young children to see how exciting and magical our spaces can be both as reading experiences but also as places of fun and wonder. It has been brilliant to work with Forest Tribe and see where creativity and education can fuse to present something new - which we really hope can change pre conceived ideas of what a library is for. We really cannot wait to welcome the children through our doors to see their reactions.”
Manchester City Council’s Executive Member for Schools, Culture and Leisure - Councillor Luthfur Rahman says: “We can’t wait for Manchester school-children from across the city to experience this amazing spectacle. Our team work year-round to make sure that a host of free cultural activities and performances for people of all ages are hosted, so that as wide a range of our residents as possible are inspired to make the most of their local library.”
Forest Tribe Dance Theatre was set up by Debbie Bandara in 2016. Based in a restored watermill in Cheshire, Debbie and David Freedman, writer and set designer, develop work with strong social and ethical themes, inspired by living and working in a hydro-electric powered mill. Forest Tribe have performed across libraries in the north of England as well as the Lowry in Salford, Tara Arts in London and Theatr Clwyd in Wales.
Alluriat was developed as an R&D piece in 2016 with Arts Council funding and support from Oldham Library. Schools education packs and lesson plans are available to download to accompany each performance.
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