‘The Living Library’, bringing to life local readers’ memories of reading, at the Omnibus Theatre, Clapham, London UK, 9-13 May. This live art event comprises a series of storytelling, dance, sound art and participatory artworks spaced throughout the building’s theatre and common areas. Audiences will explore individually as well as sharing group experiences, choosing what they are interested in, much like a library. (Omnibus Theatre is itself an old library, so the perfect space for it!).
The piece stems from the project Memories of Fiction: An Oral History of Readers’ Lives (Arts and Humanities Research Council-funded project based at the University of Roehampton). The project team, including Shelley Trower, Amy Tooth Murphy, and Sarah Pyke, interviewed Wandsworth libraries’ reading group members and LGBTQ+ readers about their life stories and their experiences of books, reading and libraries. The artworks draw on this research, exploring topics including first encounters with books, memories of libraries and their vital and varied roles in people’s lives, and why we read at all. Further information about the research project can be found at www.memoriesoffiction.org.
This new work is by Seadog Theatre, a Newcastle-based company who make visually and spatially inventive and interactive work for specific audiences. Director Laura Bridges is collaborating with artists from London and the North East, including acclaimed set designer Eleanor Slade, sound designer Lucy Harrison and choreographer/performer Patricia Verity Suarez. The artists hope this experience will reinvigorate audiences’ appreciation for reading and for their local library, underlining libraries not merely as containers of books, but as live spaces where diverse people come together to imagine.
For performance times and to book (for free!) please visit the Omnibus Theatre website: https://www.omnibus-clapham.org/event/memories-of-fiction-the-living-library/2018-05-09/