On Saturday 15 July 2023, the Belgrade Theatre was transformed into a dystopian world by Belgrade Theatre HUBs and Youth Forum members for an intergenerational festival of stories and action to celebrate the work of all involved in the community groups. An immersive day of theatre, workshops, stalls, and artwork had begun.
Theatre is now a dangerous threat. Consequently, the Belgrade Theatre has been cordoned off from the public for years. The power theatre holds in igniting change and encouraging action is too frightening to local authorities who act quickly to contain it. But suddenly, people noticed the unexpected growth of a tree in the centre of the theatre. It changed everything…
In The Meantime We Try took audiences on a unique journey through the venue discovering performances from each HUB group along the way. Each of the Belgrade’s HUBs devised performances were inspired by Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead by Complicite Theatre Company, which is a play based on a novel by Olga Tokarczuk that visited the Belgrade in April 2023.
The festival gave creative voice to its HUBs members who sought to answer the question, What does it mean to be useful?
Videographer Ayesha Jones captured the day of the festival and found out what it was like to be part of the Belgrade HUBs and the festival from our participants and HUB leaders.
Over 50s HUB: Heartwood (performed in B2)
When Chloe finds an acorn her whole life changes. What can nature teach us about the acceptance of the cycle of life and how can art help us in that journey?
Belgrade Theatre Over 50s Hub participants devised a piece based on a combination of their investigation into Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead, their experiences of many decades living on this planet, and their years of making theatre, which sought to explore those two questions and more.
Find out more about how the team put together their piece, who was involved, what inspired them, and all the fun along the way…
16 – 25s HUB: Commitment Issues (presented in Nineteen 58)
Welcome to the neighbourhood. This is our home. It’s not very pretty to look at and rubbish is piling up. No morning hellos, no pride, no connection.
But one day, the rubbish has gone and the mood changes. Suddenly people are looking at each other in the eye and smiling.
Our 16-25s HUB co-created a community that we invited the audience to come and be a part of – What happens when we all work together to look after our neighbourhood?
11-16s HUB: We’re All Alone in this Together, Right? (presented outside B2)
Do you think the grades you get in school will determine how useful you are in society? What’s the most tedious part of your day? What was one piece of history you lived through that you’ll never forget?
Our 11-16s HUB conducted interviews with family members, friends, teachers, and community leaders in order to investigate our feelings of usefulness and uselessness at different stages of life.
Fusing together verbatim theatre techniques with physical theatre, We’re All Alone in this Together, Right? asked whether we really are so different from one another, or whether we are more united and have more in common than that which divides us.
8-11s HUB: We’ve Got the Dreamer’s Disease (presented on the main stage)
In the spring, beautiful blossom grew from the tree. In the summer, we climbed the branches to the very top. But in the autumn, yellow and orange leaves crunched underneath our feet, and the tree looked nothing like it did before.
Years ago, when Skye’s grandma was younger, she planted a seed, which grew into a mighty tree. The tree has stood for as long as Skye can remember, but maybe it’s time for something better to take its place? After all, it might have been useful once, but it isn’t anymore. It’s in the way. We no longer have any use for it.
When Riley and Sienna decide it’s time for the tree to be cut down, it’s up to Skye and her friends to fight for it. But who’s going to listen to a bunch of kids?
Our 8-11s HUB devised their own original piece of theatre, based on ideas around use, the environment, difference, and our right to protest.
Belgrade Youth Forum
Joining us in Autumn 2022 and meeting regularly throughout the year, the Belgrade Youth Forum has conceived, planned, and produced In The Meantime We Try, a Festival inspired by our relationship with nature and how we might collectively face the climate emergency.
Working in collaboration with Belgrade staff, our workshop team, the HUB groups, and the community, members of our Youth Forum (who are aged 16 – 25) have co-created a day of performance, art, crafts, discussion, and exchange. Through their creation and management of the festival, the Belgrade also gains knowledge and insight from the next generation of makers, designers, producers, and influencers.
On the day of the festival, members of the youth forum interested in arts marketing and communications captured digital content and took over the Belgrade’s Instagram account where they posted behind-the-scenes snippets and short videos. They also created the event programme, web images, and pre-event video content for social media.
Here’s some of their brillaint work…
It wasn’t just our HUBs members and leaders who were involved with this ambitious festival. The whole theatre got together to make it a success! From ushers, to catering, technical, marketing, production, finance, box office, and operations, every department had its part to play!
Here are some behind-the-scenes shots to show our teams hard at work…