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A new project from the participation team at Theatre by the Lake is helping the young people of West Cumbria to learn the art of telling stories through sound. Making Waves is part of the theatre’s Young Broadcasters programme and aims to develop participants as theatre makers with a specific focus on using voice, audio techniques and sounds to create theatrical effect. The project will culminate in a broadcast day on Fri 20 July when the work produced will be celebrated at The Hub in Workington.
Jenn Mattinson, a member of Theatre by the Lake’s participation team, has signed up 50 young people aged between 10–19 years of age to work in five groups, which began work on the project in May. The groups have been taking part in a series of intensive sessions, bringing together theatre, writing and sound and using theatre-based exercises to help create material for their stories.
The broadcast day will begin at 1.30pm at The Hub in Workington where the participants’ audio pieces will be shared. They will then travel to BBC Radio Cumbria’s studios based in Carlisle to tour the building, meet broadcasters and be interviewed by presenters. Their audio pieces will also be broadcast on BBC Radio Cumbria during Mike Zellor’s mid-morning show, between Mon 16 – Fri 20 July. To complete the day, the young people will travel to Theatre by the Lake in Keswick where they will take in the production of Neil Bartlett’s adaptation of the Dickens classic Great Expectations, the play which gives the project its core stimulus; “a world full of dreams and great expectations… moments frozen in time”.
Making Waves, which is supported by BBC Radio Cumbria, Allerdale Borough Council and Arts Council England, will produce five audio-based performance pieces, each with a different theme. Stories are told though a number of methods, including narration, dialogue, diaries and letters. Participants have been exploring many ideas, with subjects ranging from the Olympic Torch to the character of Miss Havisham in Great Expectations, part of the Theatre by the Lake’s 2012 Summer Season.
Jenn Mattinson, who is trained in theatre and radio, has developed Making Waves to give young people a unique outlet to explore their creativity “After completing a theatre degree I trained as a news journalist but I have always been interested in the creative aspect of audio. With a background in radio and also theatre, plus a passion for writing, I wanted to bring my interests together. I hope that this project will give young people a voice, to show that they have opinions and ideas on all sorts of different topics, and can be highly creative when given the right tools. The whole project has been about unlocking the imaginations of those who have taken part.”