Mongrel UK is a music theatre ensemble of young people who all come from different cultures and backgrounds. The group used a £4,500 Young People’s Musical Theatre grant to create ‘The Journey Home’, a brand new piece inspired by Shaun Tan’s illustrated book ‘The Arrival’.
The book is based on a migrant’s story and is told as a series of wordless images. Mongrel UK worked with a professional artistic team over six days to create the telling of this story using freshly composed songs, imagined worlds, physical theatre, and dance. Key to the process was greater collaboration with the young people themselves, allowing them to decide what to change, why and what it would mean for the piece.
The Journey Home has brought me back to life; such inspiration, creativity, imagination and truth.
Following a successful first performance the piece evolved into a touring production and went on to be performed six times at different venues around the region to over 1,500 audience members.
The project helped participants to gain confidence and to develop their musical skills including listening, arranging and composing. They also strengthened their leadership skills, and long term members are now continuing to share their experiences, knowledge and talents with others.
Here’s what some of the participants had to say:
‘The Journey Home is life enhancing and I loved every second of it.’
‘The Journey Home has brought me back to life; such inspiration, creativity, imagination and truth. Never forget to tell your truth.’
‘To the Journey Home: This has been an amazing journey and I would like to thank everyone for the most inspirational and beautiful journey that I could ever expect. It has been hard, emotional and frustrating at times, but I have loved every minute.’
Mongrel UK as a group has seen a huge shift as a result of the project in terms of aspiration and what can be achieved. They have had the opportunity to collaborate with new partners, to access new venues and audiences, and to build their profile in the region. They hope to continue working at the professional level they have reached through this project and to take future pieces of work even further afield.
DreamArts used their YPMT grant to run a programme of musical theatre training for participants. This included an extended creative writing process in order to develop a new musical inspired by Notting Hill Carnival.
The participants of Fusion Youth Theatre devised a brand new musical - Cheerleader Apocolypse - through the YPMT scheme which was staged in the largest venue in their area.
This north Glasgow group used their grant to create a new musical about territorialism in order to break down current issues and barriers amongst young people in the area.
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