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Community play plan for Ashfield

Posted onPosted on 4th Jan
Community play plan for Ashfield

Ashfield writer and storyteller Jack Burrows is collecting stories and more as he tries to create a play, We Ant Got Much – The Ashfield Play (a working title), to celebrate the Ashfield Area, writes Alan Dawson (thetownsman@hotmail.com / @TheTownsman2).

We all know storytellers – they are everybody we know. Whether it be the funny man/ woman telling hilarious anecdotes to their mates in the pub or to colleagues at work, or the person in the corner shop who likes to spill the gossip, or the writer who turns stories into manuscripts for the stage/ TV/ books etc – they are all storytellers and they all like to deliver their stories in many ways. Stories are usually made up of past experiences and memories that can be elaborated on for theatrical effect and to engage the audience – whether it be for the individual person stood next to the storyteller at the bus stop or for the audience at a sold-out performance at the Mansfield Palace Theatre.

I am a writer myself and I realise the importance of the Arts to facilitate stories. However, I believe that stories are more importantly shared in the community – stories are the cement that holds communities together and give identity to the people living there. Further to this they help to hold firm a positive relationship between the old and the young. My dad was a storyteller and my brothers, and I got to know him better through the stories he told; we discovered what he was like in years gone-by, even before we were born, and how he reacted to things in his own unique way – his stories were hilarious, and we were shaped by every single word.

Jack Burrows, born in Sutton, is a storyteller, and he is endeavouring to create a play, We Ant Got Much – The Ashfield Play (working title), to celebrate his beloved Ashfield area. He wants to create a play from the memories, stories, and thoughts of the Ashfield people, that is the people with whom he rubs shoulders within the local shop, the person who serves him in the bank, or the guy digging up the road – he wants everyone’s memories/ stories whatever their age or position in the community. The Ashfield area can sometimes be seen negatively by people who do not understand the dynamics of life living in the former mining community and Jack wants to kick that notion into touch – we’ve got a lot to be proud of… ant we?

Stories do not have to be blockbusters with a twist at the end, a simple tale can tell more in a moment than a Ben Hur type epic can. One of the best memories I ever shared was with an elderly lady who recalled how she always received extra batter bits from a lovely lady at the chip shop she visited when she was a girl – this tells us so much about the community she once lived in and a kindness she never forgot even years later.

Jack, who has been writing and producing drama for over 16 years, has already collected some stories, but would like to collect more – he is also interested in listening to local to Ashfield community groups. This is a real community project and Jack is looking to cast local people, whether they have acting experience or not. He is also looking for locals to work backstage and generally help to produce the Ashfield Play – he is hoping to bring the community together on this project. Further to this, Ashfield businesses are invited to help support the event.

I know Jack personally; he is a considerable writer and producer. If you would like to be part of The Ashfield Play contact Jack: studio82nw@gmail.com Follow him on Twitter @buzville

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