CHARLIE WISEMAN: We started working in Edinburgh in the Grassmarket hence entitled 'Grassmarket Project', showing days in the life of homeless and we were invited to Berlin Peoples Stage, the only British company in fact to be so. We worked there with street people and an Ensemble of Homeless ' Rats' as they like to call themselves went on to win an Academy of Arts Award.
This led to us being recognised by a wide range of people, from Ken Branagh, who asks for updates,to Sean Connery who wrote that our work was 'a great contribution to British theatre and it would be a shame if it wasn't able to continue for financial reasons,' so in this spirit I have been able to further develop work which has led us to work at Paris Pompidou, probably the only time they put street people on their stage, as well as Australia, with natives on Ayer's Rock and with Susan Sarandon who supported our work with Brazilian street girls who lived in a refuge 'Casa de Pasagem', started by a compassionate retired lawyer Anna, who knew they would die young otherwise. Susan even went as far as to suggest playing the role of Anna in a film version, if funding is found.
The work continues now under the title 'London Peace Through Community', www.londonpeaceprize.com, which was inspired as a reaction to the riots of 2011 when I was living between Ealing, Battersea and Croydon Warehouse Theatre, where we were developing a project Girls about people whether pregnant or in tough situations trying to get their lives together. The media stereotyped young as either hopeless or violent which was so destructive given how hard some were working.
During this time I thought up a piece about healing, which showed how wounded and damaged might actually see their bruised scarred lives as potential for growth and we worked in Ladbroke Grove, more recently at Calder Bookshop, Omnibus-Clapham and Chelsea Theatre, always with a following from the street as well as the CEO Stephen Robertson of Big Issue Foundation, Hen Garnett the Bloomsbury heiress providing for a Kickstarter entitled
Fenella, with her technical knowledge listened after a free Euroscript event, making herself available to talk about the work which has unique qualities, not always aligned in creating expensive beautiful images, which enabled us to suddenly realise how to make a successful short film: admitting aspects of dream, with blurs and letting images flow into each other with words. The suggestion that the text needs to be experimentally and visually developed was energising and led directly to more free attempts.
The enthusiasm for genuinely helping out with such work is what makes it a pleasure to meet up at BFI. Euroscript are excellent buddies.
We sell calendars, are applying to the arts council to support our short film and depend on support from Isis Olivier, Pru and Tim West, Ken Loach, to name a few: the following video involved vulnerable, marginalized women from Romania Renata Nedela, Laura Voicu, who had once risen to Hollywood's ranks and a half-Indian actress who we encourage as potential often is hidden in people of mixed race. The work we developed with free space at Chelsea Theatre,while Pret A Manger also supply us meals for workshops.
More here: https://vimeo.com/99788744