Storytelling Collective Gig – a huge success by four creative groups working together
On the 7th of April 2023, we had our Storytelling Collective gig at Union Corner. This wasn’t a typical WonderZoo gig as it involved four groups working together to create it:
Mindful Art Club,
Marbles Lost and Found,
This gig marked the launch of a collaborative research project funded by Plymouth Octopus Project, with the four groups looking at how they can strengthen one another and improve how they support their communities by using creativity to bring happiness, create friendships and reduce social isolation.
It was well attended, with over 100 people coming along, with lots of positive feedback from the audience, some even being moved to tears by what they saw and heard in the gig. There was a selection of spoken word, comedy and music, with a headline band, Audioshift, at the end of the night. One of the attendees commented, “you need to give people fun and excitement in life, otherwise they won’t care about the world they live in, so events like this are really important”.
Slain McGough Davey, founder of WonderZoo, who was compèring on the night said “It was an amazing gig, one of the best I’ve ever been involved with. People had a good time and it was great to collaborate with the other groups.” Rachel Hawadi, who is conducting the research within the project, had never been to an event like this before. She said it blew her mind.
Overall it was a great start to the project, which will go forward with a series of events and workshops, and then a gig at the end that will showcase a new selection of performance artists and report back some of the findings of the research.
Chi Bennett – Hostess with the Mostess at Nudge’s Awakening events
Nudge Community Builders have been bringing The Millennium Building on Union Street to life at their Awakening events that have taken place in the main part of the building, with the beautifully ornate ceiling piece.
In total, there were 9 events, ranging from 3 dance nights, a comedy night, a film night, a folk and funk night, a band night, women and non-binary night and a closing night.
Chi Bennett (co-director of WonderZoo) hosted 4 of these events, and thoroughly enjoyed the performances of the varied artists, as well as the convivial and receptive attitude of the audiences. Chi and Tom Loveder did an opening improvised performance at the Folk and Funk night with Tom playing guitar and Chi dancing on stage.
A band member told Chi, “At first when I saw you dance I was a bit like what’s going on here? But then as I kept watching, I found it mesmerizing. It felt like your dancing had blessed the stage”.