Tuesday, 4 May 2010

Tales From Ockenden.

Sunday evening and off to Woking to see The Vision a community play for the town written and directed by Rib, who'd led the oral history training last week. Emily, who graduated from St Mary's last summer and Level 1 student Karen were also working on the show.

The play was based on the life and philantrophic acts of former school teacher Joyce Pearce who, shortly after the second world war, began to receive refugees from Germany to her home at Ockenden. From humble beginnings Joyce's venture helped support thousands of displaced people during the second half of the twentieth century an became an international concern with branches in many of the world's poorest regions. As well as documenting the growth of Joyce's project the play also challenged the anti-immigration rhetoric of our times and called for a subtler understanding of asylum.

It's all fruitful material for a community play - a local hero, a contemporary issue and parts for as many people as want to join in all held together with an excellently arranged soundtrack. As with the best of this work the feeling of ownership and pride emanating from the inter generational cast was palpable. The camaraderie needed to support this kind of work carries most of the value. Once you've made friends and created something positive with other people it's very difficult to dismiss them.

No comments: