I was invited to stop for a moment and enter another world full of everything life has to offer - hope, fear, loss, joy, pride, a sense of community, gentleness, comedy, dancing and love. There were moments of great tenderness when I held my breath because the work was touching me. There were times when tears tickled my tear ducts and other moments when I just understood and connected with what you were sharing with me. My local library means the world to me. It's the world projected into four walls.  Keep inhabiting and celebrating that space. We need libraries and they need you.  Audience member

On a Wednesday, in Hanham library something magical has been happening. Connections, friendships, stories from hearts and memories, ridiculousness. Alot of ridiculousness. On 16th March we shared our work with an audience. They were invited into the world we had inhabited in our library space for the morning. We led them on a journey, starting where we began: with the books.

Our alternative tour of the library was an interactive jaunt into the unexpected side of the library, and of course the unexpected sides of ourselves. We had talked alot over the six weeks about assumptions, expectations, cliches (Don't judge a book by it's cover y'all!) and one thing led to another. To begin with our audience joined us in a wordy treasure hunt and compiled unusual proverbs as a group. I can't remember the exact wording but I think there were cosmic potatoes in there somewhere (Everyone nods sagely)

The audience wear their regulation viewing glasses to watch proceedings.

Images and narratives unfold. 

There are carrots growing up from the floor of the library. A woman tends them and waters them with glitter.

A woman gets up from her seat and removes her coat. Wearing  a beautiful dress she begins to dance to the tune inside her head.

A man narrates a poem from memory that he has written. Is he talking about his beloved car or his beloved wife?

A woman sits at a table in the private act of writing. The words are projected for us to read her thoughts. She moves us to tears.

A video plays that blows our expectations and assumptions clean away.

Between these moments the piece is intercepted by small vignettes of amateur wrestling, ducks song- well, not just any song- as one viewer put it People didn’t believe that a woman dressed as duck, singing I’m forever blowing bubbles whilst producing feather boas from the outfit appeared in a library!  

At one point the whole cast broke into an impromptu game which saw them running about the library before the grand finale involving a glitter cannon (what else?!)

The experience was truly unexpected! When I think of the achievements of this group in our six weeks of work together I am blown away. Overcoming  so many barriers, coming together as a group, achieving things that they never thought possible for themselves and making engaging, thought provoking and entertaining performance. Phewww!

Can't wait for next term!

I have to say that I have never experienced such an experience in a library than I did last Wednesday, it was funny, surreal and moving – all in 60 minutes. You allowed them to try new experiences without making any assumptions on what the outcome would look like. Please pass on my thanks and appreciation. Community Cultural Services Manager