A Friendly Society
In 2018/19 Kiln Theatre will embark on an exciting journey into the heritage of the building and the communities who came before us.
Funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, A Friendly Society will tell untold stories of social care and migration in Brent. The project will welcome local people back into the new building and give them a platform to share their experiences, take part in creative activities and delve into the hidden history of one of London’s most culturally diverse boroughs. The project will end in a large scale community play to be performed as part of Kiln Theatre’s new season on the main stage.
Keep your eyes peeled for exciting opportunities to get involved, from workshops, exhibitions, building tours and volunteering roles. If you would like to get involved or find out more information please contact Nick Gibson, Creative Learning Manager (Heritage + Community) nickgibson@KilnTheatre.com
Oral Histories and Untold Stories
The aim of this project is to give a platform to the incredible untold stories of local people in Brent and to consider what we can learn about today, by asking questions about the past.
What does a friendly society mean to you? Do you have a story to tell about how people and communities have looked after each other across the years? Is there an untold history that you think people should know about? If so the Friendly Society Team would love to hear from you.
To do this we want to meet people from all different backgrounds and walks of life to talk with our team about their experiences of care, friendship and community.
For those wishing to take part there may be the opportunity to formally record your Oral History*
Oral history is the recording of people’s memories, experiences and opinions. It is:
• A living history of everyone’s unique life experiences
• An opportunity for those people who have been ‘hidden from history’ to have their voice heard
• A rare chance to talk about and record history face-to-face
• A source of new insights and perspectives that may challenge our view of the past.
To get in touch please complete the form below. If you have any questions you can contact Nick Gibson nickgibson@KilnTheatre.com
A Thousand Hands: Legacies and Futures of Care in Brent
This free exhibition, curated by Rachel Dedman, celebrates how different communities have cared for one another across the years and some of the challenges they have faced. From the 19th Century to today, it tells the story of activism, the arts, The Foresters Friendly Society and the history of the NHS and nursing in Brent – with some extra surprises!
The exhibition is now on display at The Brent Museum and Archive at the Willesden Green Library, 2nd Floor, 95 High Rd, Willesden, London NW10 2SF. Free entry.
As part of A Friendly Society and our brand new season of work, Kiln Theatre will host a series of public talks and debates to encourage discussions and generate stories. This provocative series of events will invite artists, historians, public figures and local people to consider how different communities have played a pivotal role in shaping the history of the borough right up to present day. Keep an eye on this page to find out what’s coming up.
Our first talk will take place on Community Day on November 17. Led by anthropologist Dr. Farhan Samanani, this is a free workshop session about the hidden spaces of care and community in Brent. Click here to reserve your place.
A Friendly Society Community Play
This ambitious two-year project will culminate in a large-scale community production in 2019, to be performed on Kiln Theatre’s main stage as part of its ground-breaking new season of work.
The project will bring together 100 participants from Brent to bring to life the untold stories of those who came before us and the people who live here today.
This is a play by the community, for the community that will stories of care and migration celebrating that people who have made Brent one of the most culturally diverse places in the UK.
If you would like to get involved or know a group or organisation that have an interesting story to tell please email nickgibson@KilnTheatre.com
Kiln Building Tours
Join us on a series of immersive building tours to discover the history of the theatre, its previous inhabitants and the exciting new features that will make Kiln Theatre a cultural and creative hub for all. A group of volunteer Heritage Storytellers have created their own unique tour, working alongside professional storyteller Nick Cassenbaum to delve into their first-hand experiences of the building and Brent.
Each tour is different and will last between 20 and 30 minutes.
Tours will be held weekly for two months. Click here to book a place.
Archive and Research Volunteers
Research and Archive Volunteers will be key participants on the project, working directly with professional staff from Kiln Theatre and Brent Museum and Archives to help uncover source material for Kiln Theatre’s new community project A Friendly Society.
In this exciting role volunteers will
- Be given rare access to Brent Museum’s archive to help uncover the untold stories of migration, social care and life in Brent, one of London’s most diverse boroughs,
- Receive training from Brent Museum and The Oral History Society to develop new research and archive skills,
- Support the playwright and creative facilitators to collect oral histories from members of the local community, giving people the chance to talk about and record their history face-to-face,
- Attend the Friendly Society exhibition at Willesden Library to engage with visitors, collect community stories and responses and act as ambassadors for the project,
- Provide an opportunity for people who may have been “hidden from history” to have their voice heard.