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Living Exhibition, Romsey, South Hampshire

A multimedia performance project led by Forest Forge Theatre and The Media Workshop that explores the lives of teenagers, youth fashion and teen subcultures, resulting in the live art performance by Romsey Youth Theatre of a ‘Living Exhibition’

7th March 2009 - 25th April 2009

Romsey Youth Theatre bannerRomsey Youth Theatre explored the lives of teenagers and youth subcultures from the 1950s to the modern day using performance, photography, projection, music and sound recordings. With the support of professional theatre company Forest Forge and community arts organisation The Media Workshop, the young people devised and developed a ‘Living Exhibition’ on the subject of teenage identity and image.

The project started with a research visit to Dressed 2 Express, Hampshire Museum Service’s touring youth fashion exhibition. This inspiring visit was followed by an opportunity to take part in a fashion photo-shoot with The Media Workshop, during which the young people dressed up in costumes from different decades. From this, large scale photographic banners were created, representing the styles of  each decade, and forming the backdrop for the devised play.

Using the oral history clips from the Dressed 2 Express exhibition and research among family members, the group also developed monologues with Forest Forge theatre company about teenage lifestyle seen from different viewpoints.  The two strands of work were then brought together in the staging of the Living Exhibition.

The young people were also invited to participate in the “Share Your Talent” event at London’s Southbank Centre on 10 July 09. A performance of the Living Exhibition by Romsey Youth Theatre was followed by a facilitated discussion by Forest Forge and The Media Workshop on the creative process, youth culture and identity.

  • A recent successful application to the FYT PUSH Area Programme Funds has enabled the development of this into a Theatre, Media and Archive project. Young people will be supported to look at their own youth culture and the youth culture of older Romsey residents, given access to historical archives and given the opportunity to work with theatre and media practitioners, including a  dramaturge from the Royal Court, to script the material into a play.

    This material will be used, along with the script and photos from the performance and the previous project, to create a booklet that the young people will design and edit, as a legacy of the project

  • 'We really enjoyed the Photoshop workshop and working on the banners, as everyone was able to put their ideas into it and it worked really well.'

    'It has been really fun. Everyone’s had a good time and it was a chance to do something different.'