So its autumn and the show building process begins again. It’s a very different project from last year, instead of a ridiculously giant mechanical spaceship complete with aerial rig, (www.mariecelestial.co.uk) this year we are looking at the small and detailed.
The latest project is a much more topical thing, its about migration. Specifically its about making migration normal - Not big, scary and threatening, normal.
And migration is normal. horrible and hard for those concerned but a normal thing. People have been fleeing massacre, famine and natural disaster since year dot. It’s not nice but its part of the human animal. The problem is our fear of it, and the way our fear makes us handle it.
One of the reasons we know that migration has been happening for as long as we have existed is the telling and passing on of stories. Stories twist and turn but travel around the globe. Some ancient Celtic fairy tales are incredibly similar to Persian myths, this isn’t just because people are similar everywhere, its because tales used to be currency.
Small villages and isolated towns would feed and clothe a story-teller because everyone needs to be entertained, especially on dark winter nights. Stories would be told and re-told, mashed up and squashed together and tied into other stories. The hero’s name might change, the castle become a cave but the ancient bones of the tale remain the same underneath it all. Stories have power.
Even in this day and age stories are powerful. Take a look at our modern myths; the dangerous migrant, the hidden jihaddist, the benefits cheat. Stories made by tabloids to build up resentment and fear.
Working with a very young audience we are hoping to reach people at an age before the prejudices hit and build a new story. We will build a show that treats travelling and migration as normal and brings its audience stories from around the world.
Like the Marie Celestial the centerpiece of the show will be the set. in this case a beautifully made traditional romany style wagon built to be sized for the 3-5 age bracket. We will fill this with exciting artifacts from around the world and place it in venues before the show as an installation (read massive toy) for young people to play and explore.
A special part of this will be the video diaries embedded in the set. Young people from Syria telling their stories for our young people back here. We are teaming up with a project in Calais to provide the footage.
We’ll be writing and posting about the show as we go along. We would love feedback and ideas so please message us if you think of anything. We will be inviting people to our previews in early march once we have finally confirmed dates and venues.