As part of Farnham Maltings' theatre development programme, we are funded by the Rothschild foundation to make work with libraries in the county of Buckinghamshire. One of the projects to come out of this, Soap and Porridge, will be touring to different Buckinghamshire libraries across Autumn 2021.
Between October 2019 and February 2020, Tom Cross invited writer Aoife Mannix to work with him in Aylesbury Library. They asked community groups and over 100 regular library users What is your first memory? What might be your lasting memory? From the responses they received they’ve been creating art, animations and poems under the title Soap and Porridge, which went on display in the library in February. During lockdown the conversation moved online and each of the pieces was presented as a mini-animation on Twitter @SoapPorridge
Following the reopening of libraries across the county the exhibition will tour to seven libraries across Buckinghamshire. The work will be presented in a way in which it can be viewed safely while using the library. Starting in Beaconsfield in April the pieces will tour to Burnham, Chesham, Princes Risborough, Buckingham, High Wycombe and finish in Wendover in October. Wendover is where Tom’s grandfather lived and the place that inspired the smell of Soap and Porridge from which the project takes its title.
Tom says: “I am really pleased that more people in the libraries around Buckinghamshire will get to see and engage with Soap and Porridge. I hope it will inspire them to think of their own memories and stories. It is very fitting that the exhibition will end up in Wendover, the place of one of my first memories.”
Soap and Porridge is commissioned by Essex Cultural Diversity Project and Farnham Maltings using funding from the Rothschild Foundation and in partnership with Buckinghamshire Libraries.