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Performance celebrates town's fishing past and present

PUBLISHED: 09:36 27 July 2018 | UPDATED: 09:36 27 July 2018

Professional performer Lizzie Stanley was part of the Lowestoft Dance Map. Picture: Making Waves Together

Professional performer Lizzie Stanley was part of the Lowestoft Dance Map. Picture: Making Waves Together

Archant

Members of community groups from across Lowestoft joined together for a special performance.

Professional performer Alysha Hudson was part of the Lowestoft Dance Map. Picture: Making Waves TogetherProfessional performer Alysha Hudson was part of the Lowestoft Dance Map. Picture: Making Waves Together

The Lowestoft Dance Map – an interpretation of the story of Lowestoft’s Fisher Girls through movement – was showcased at Sparrows Nest Gardens last Saturday, as an audience of more than 150 people turned out.

DanceEast and Glass House Dance partnered with Lowestoft Maritime Museum for the Fisher Girls performance. It came after they worked with several groups over the summer including the Ashley School, Leading Lives FABBA Theatre Group, the Next Stagers Theatre Group from the Marina Theatre, Suffolk Stitchers and Knitters and The Rogues Shanty Chorus.

The Next Stagers Theatre Group from the Marina Theatre performed as part of the Lowestoft Dance Map. Picture: Making Waves TogetherThe Next Stagers Theatre Group from the Marina Theatre performed as part of the Lowestoft Dance Map. Picture: Making Waves Together

The performance started below the bowling green with sections inspired by the Herrings themselves and the crew that fished them. The audience then moved over to the drying racks on the site earmarked for the East of England park, where a quartet from the Next Stagers performed a piece inspired by the gutting of the fish, accompanied by a voiceover of a Scots Girl reminiscing about her own experience.

Original fishing nets served as a backdrop and the Rogues Shanty Chorus provided live music. Two solos by professional performers Alysha Hudson and Lizzie Stanley led the audience up to the sea wall where the performance ended with live songs and the sound of the sea.

The Next Stagers Theatre Group from the Marina Theatre performed as part of the Lowestoft Dance Map. Picture: Making Waves TogetherThe Next Stagers Theatre Group from the Marina Theatre performed as part of the Lowestoft Dance Map. Picture: Making Waves Together

Sarah Lewis, co-director of Glass House Dance, said: “Meeting with so many interesting people and finding out about the rich history of Lowestoft’s fishing industry and the Fisher Girls was the starting point for this project. What evolved was a performance created by people that live in Lowestoft.

“It really was a community of people working together to create a really special event that celebrated Lowestoft’s past and present.”

Inneka Winser, operations manager at Leading Lives, added: “Our members of Leading Lives Fabba Theatre company who took part, really enjoyed performing to the public and are looking forward to next year’s event.”

The event included free entry to Lowestoft Maritime Museum where a new film was shown, documenting the making process and featuring key information about the Scots Girls who came to work in Lowestoft during the Herring season.

Background

Lowestoft Dance Map is part of Making Waves Together, which is led by Great Yarmouth Borough Council and Waveney District Council.

A spokesman said: “Making Waves Together is seeing communities and organisations in both towns work together to inspire and engage our communities as both participants and audiences and put arts, culture and heritage at the heart of the local vision.”

All of this is made possible through the Great Place Scheme, delivered by Arts Council England, the Heritage Lottery Fund and supported by Historic England.

DanceEast is now looking for individuals, schools and community groups to get involved in the 2019 project working with Glass House Dance and Lowestoft Museum to create a performance through workshops, which celebrates aspects of Lowestoft’s rich history.

Contact Alyson Tipping for further information, by emailing alyson.tipping@danceeast.co.uk

• Have you got a story? Email lowestoft.journa@archant.co.uk

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