A Friendly Society

A community project by Kiln Project theatre with Age Exchange

Age Exchange worked with the newly named Kiln Theatre, formerly the Tricycle Theatre in Kilburn, to deliver three eight week programmes of activities as part of the theatre’s HLF funded community programme A Friendly Society..

Programmes were held with community groups in Brent including Bolder Voices in Kilburn, WISE (West Indian Self Effort) in Harlesden and BeHeard in Wembley. The projects involved a variety of activities and engagements with reminiscence. Music, poetry, archival objects and images were all used to stimulate discussion and we particularly explored personal histories and reminiscences of how life had changed locally both from immigrant families and other residents.

Some of the reminiscences will be followed up by practitioners at Kiln Theatre when they come to write a new community theatre play celebrating the history of the area. The projects was coordinated by Nick Gibson at Kiln Theatre and Malcolm Jones from Age Exchange.

Nick Gibson Creative Learning Manager Heritage and Community at Kiln Theatre wrote the following:

Kiln Theatre was delighted to work with Age Exchange on our ongoing creative learning project A Friendly Society, funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund. This large scale community programme of work delves into the hidden history of care and migration in the borough of Brent and explores how different communities have cared for one-another across the years.

The partnership with Age Exchange worked directly with 3 elder organisations in the borough of Brent; Bolder Voices, W.I.S.E. Social Education Project and BHeard, to deliver over 30 engagement workshops as a means by which to explore the stories and experiences of elder people and welcome them back to Kiln Theatre’s new building. The workshops, led by Malcom Jones have fed directly into the wider programme of work including and exhibition at Brent Museum and Archives, oral history interviews and a community play to be stage on Kiln Theatre’s main stage in September 2019 that will work with 100 participants. Working with Age Exchange has also upskilled our practitioners and members of the Creative Learning team enabling us to develop our practice, strengthening relationships with elder groups and organisations across Brent.

A Friendly Society is funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and made possible by the National Lottery Players.