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Common Ground

Common Ground - a co-creation project between Barrel Organ and Thunk-It Theatre for the 2021 National Student Drama Festival.

In September 2020, Thunk-It applied to the NSDF Creates mentorship programme. NSDF partnered with Barrel Organ to present an opportunity for an emerging company to create a new piece of work in co-production with the critically acclaimed company to be showcased at the festival in 2021. Barrel Organ co-produced the new piece and provided support, mentoring and a meaningful introduction into the theatre industry.

The Project!

An intergenerational project where we search to find the similarities and differences between older and younger generations.

Phase 1 - workshops with organisations such as; Ageing Without Children, York Mind, Helmsley Arts Centre, Leeds Connections.

Phase 2 - ‘Mega Workshop’ - a workshop where participants of all ages were invited to attend, meet one another and have a good natter.

Phase 3 - Casting call, an open audition which invited actors to audition by creating pieces of performance from verbatim text.

Phase 4 - Rehearsal! Turning the text to performance.

Phase 5 - The showing at NSDF.

On Wednesday 31st March at 2.30pm, Thunk-It and Barrel Organ presented a work-in-progress of their latest show as part of NSDF Festival 2021. Common Ground was created using verbatim material from participants.


Caitlin Finney

Joe Kent-Walters

Immy Wood


Text by Jules Risingham and Rosie Gray.

Co-Directors - Ali Pidsley & Becky Lennon

Produced by Ellie Claughton for Barrel Organ & Thunk-It Theatre

Common Ground is a new, interactive piece about home, advice and memory. Inspired by workshops with intergenerational participants throughout the winter months, Common Ground will use participation, interaction and verbatim material to create an engaging piece of performance that explores the importance of community and connection during fractured times.

This performance was followed by a short Q&A with the company.

The performance will be available on demand for a short while following the festival.

(Image by Luke W. Robson)

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