My Shout was an exciting project about celebrating age and challenging stereotypes of what it means to grow old in England.

In 2018, My Shout presented a vibrant and surprising alternative view of what growing older looks like, by enabling elders from the community to create art that has integrity, resonance and perhaps a touch of mischief.

People from across Farnham and the surrounding areas, aged 55 or over, were invited to take part in four new projects which each, in their own way, portrayed dynamic alternatives to the all-too-common dreary misconceptions of ageing. The four creations included:

  • A dance performance, facilitated by Matthew Bourne’s company New Adventures
  • Theatre workshops, in collaboration with an intergenerational audience at Farnham Maltings facilitated by Lucy Fennell
  • Sculptural stone-carved benches that are now displayed outside Farnham Maltings, facilitated by Michael Disley
  • A short film, created in collaboration with young people from Farnham facilitated by Me’n’u Arts

Highlights

In June 2018, the newly formed dance group performed Till Then, which had been choreographed by the group with New Adventures resident dancer, Daisy May Kemp, and dance practitioner, Luke Murphy. There were public performances at outdoor event Dance in the Meadow, Maltings showcase Ignite and as a celebratory curtain-raiser before Matthew Bourne’s Cinderella in Woking. You can read more about the performances here.

Whatever your age, providing you put in the time and effort, you can achieve a very fulfilling outcome… I feel immensely proud.” My Shout dancer, 2018.

Dance in the Meadow 2018 (credit: Alex Harvey-Brown)

My Shout is part of Celebrating Age, a programme funded by Arts Council England and the Baring Foundation to enable arts and cultural spaces to be more open, positive and welcoming places for older people; My Shout is also funded by Waverley Borough Council. The My Shout steering group consists of Farnham Maltings, Waverley Borough Council, New Adventures and Age UK Surrey.