theatre in libraries

imagination spaces

The performance part of the Imagination Spaces project comprises of three projects

The Anarchist Mobile Library toured the county in locations benefitting from Arts Partnership Surrey: Spelthorne, Runnymede, Elmbridge, Guildford borough, Waverley, Woking Borough and Surrey Heath. The show was able to accommodate summer 2021 Covid restrictions as the performance space was a caravan, taking advantage of libraries with parking or outside space, and the audience booked slots. The Anarchist’s Mobile Library exists to empower children to be masters of their own destinies, to be inspired by literature and to change the stories they see unfolding around them.

I am Bird by Marie Klimis was our bespoke Library Commission from New Popular, and reached new audiences in East Surrey: Redhill and Merstham. I am Bird is aimed at older audiences, but we are delighted that a broad age range of family groups are enjoying the show. Despite being a development piece, the artist has drawn on her deep experience of performing in libraries and museums, to create a high quality, interactive adventure about a migratory bird, experienced via mobiles and headphones. Following the story and clues, audiences make choices that lead them to different miniature paper worlds hidden around the library. A measure of its success was sell-out one-off events at Cranleigh and Farnham libraries, as part of High Street rejuvenation and Literary festivals. I am Bird will return to tour Surrey in Autumn 2022.

The final show in the Imagination Spaces programme is Book Club for Super Spies, created by Angel Exit, another family show provided with funding from Arts Partnership Surrey, including another Surrey District: Mole Valley. Mirabel Merryweather has a tricky case to solve and she needs your help! Full of music, mystery, mayhem and mindfulness and featuring puppetry and with clues to solve, Super-Spies is supported by funding from the Arts Council England and was co-produced by The Spring Arts and Heritage Centre, Havant. This had a short run in Esher, Dorking and Guildford libraries on 07, 13 and 14 May 2022, respectively, before returning in late August/September to a further five Surrey libraries. This is a family performance with a community trail around the library, encouraging families to explore their local communities. There will be posters in local community centres, arts venues and businesses, with a prize at the end.