Gecko is an award winning and internationally acclaimed physical theatre company touring nationally and internationally. Striving to make their work open to interpretation and to put audiences at the heart of the narrative. Gecko uses movement to express emotions and narrative, rather than focussing on text and language and have an international ensemble of performers, who speak different languages in the shows. Because of this, Gecko shows have huge appeal across the world, as there are no barriers between the audience and the storyline. Every audience member can relate to the themes of the shows, regardless of nationality.
Gecko is delighted to have been awarded Strategic Touring Funding from Arts Council England, to support the touring of their latest production The Wedding in spring 2018, which has allowed them to develop an ambitious programme of audience development and participation. In 2016, Gecko was granted funding from Wellcome to develop a series of ancillary events around our UK tour of Institute. For this they collaborated with Suffolk Mind to deliver workshops, panel discussions and resources that further explored the themes of male mental health raised within the show. They will be building on the success of this project and using it as a model to create and run the outreach activity associated with The Wedding in autumn 2017 and spring 2018.
The Wedding is set in a dystopian world that imagines we are all brides, wedded to society and bound by a contract. Inspired by the complexities of human nature, the show brings these contracts and issues of social cohesion within communities into question. What are the terms of this relationship? And can we consider a divorce? The Strategic Touring funding will allow Gecko to develop an audience engagement programme that encourages social cohesion between local and migrant/refugee communities through participation as well as increasing audience attendance among these groups at each venue on the tour.
Gecko are keen to develop relationships with local organisations on this project who can help to reach particular groups within the local communities at each tour venue. Therefore, encouraging these groups to participate in the associated outreach work as well as coming to see the show, and ensuring that the company’s work with the individuals is not a one off, but has continuation and legacy.
The project includes:
- A free 2.5-3 day residency in Autumn 2017 in each of the 8 tour venues. The residency will be for 16 young people from the local community (ideally an even mix of participants who have grown up locally, and those who are migrants/refugees). Including games, warm ups and movement based activities, participants will come together and learn how to tell stories without words. The perfect opportunity for participants to meet new people, have fun and work together as a group to create an informal, but exciting piece of theatre. Whilst the residency is practical, it is not necessary for participants to have any experience in theatre or dance as the workshops will be designed to be completely accessible. To aid accessibility further, there is also a small running budget which can be contributed towards translators, travel costs and refreshments each day if needed. As described above, Gecko’s work does not rely on language and they are used to working with workshop participants in a different language with a translator and have even created a show with a Chinese cast called The Dreamer, which performed at Edinburgh Festival in August 2017.
- All 16 participants will receive 3 free tickets to see The Wedding when the company returns to perform at each venue in spring 2018. This will not only enable participants to come and see the show, but to also bring two friends or family members with them to further widen the number of people coming to see the show who may not normally attend events at the theatre.
- As part of the performance week at each venue, there will also be a post-show panel discussion and a half day Manifesto Workshop, both of which are free completely open to the public.
Gecko would love for as many people as possible across the country to be active advocates for the project. Be that helping to spread the word about the project and performances, encouraging those in the local community to take part of by attending the Manifesto Workshop yourself at your local venue.
If you have any questions at all about the project, please do not hesitate to get in touch with a member of the Gecko team:
Gecko’s Project & Participation Manager
Gecko’s Executive Producer
To read more about The Wedding and about Gecko’s work, please visit www.geckotheatre.com
Tour Venues and Activity Dates:
Residency: 18th to 20th October 2017
Performances: 17th – 20th January 2018
Panel Discussion: 19th January 2018
Manifesto Workshop: 20th January 2018
Residency: 4th to 7th December 2017
Performances: 23rd – 25th January 2018
Panel Discussion: 23rd January 2018
Manifesto Workshop: 27th January 2018
Residency: 24th to 26th November 2017
Performances: 1st – 3rd February 2018
Panel Discussion: 2nd February 2018
Manifesto Workshop: 3rd February 2018
Residency: 15th to 17th December 2017
Performances: 8th – 10th February 2018
Panel Discussion: 9th February 2018
Manifesto Workshop: 10th February 2018
Residency: 11th to 13th December 2017
Performances: 21st – 24th February 2018
Panel Discussion: 23rd February 2018
Manifesto Workshop: 24th February 2018
Residency: w/c 12th Feb 2018 (dates TBC)
Performances: 27th February 2018
Panel Discussion: 27th February 2018
Residency: 1st to 3rd December 2017
Performances: 1st – 3rd March 2018
Panel Discussion: 2nd March 2018
Manifesto Workshop: 3rd March 2018
Residency: 11th to 13th December 2017
Performances: 6th – 9th March 2018
Panel Discussion: 7th March 2018
Manifesto Workshop: 10th March 2018
How do we make change happen?
How do we take part in the positive shaping of our local communities?
What is our vision for the future and what legacy will we leave for the next generation?
Alongside Gecko’s performances of The Wedding, this free 3-hour workshop will discuss the show’s themes of integration, social cohesion and change, led by Gecko’s Artistic Director Amit Lahav.
If you’ve been inspired by The Wedding or would like to see change in your community, come along, meet new people and join Gecko in exploring your feelings and ideas.
Please contact you local tour venue for booking details.