The Real Wiltshire Trap: A Ballad – Friday 10th August

This blog was written by Kayleigh Talbot, a drama graduate from Wolverhampton University, and one of three shadow artists involved in Back in 10. 

For more information about Back in 10:

You can still watch the Live Stream video of all Back in 10 performances:

This week during ‘Back In 10’ we have been working across various spaces located on Canal Street. 

Canal Street is full of shops of necessities rather than luxuries. For example, The Grocers, The Bakers and The Hardware Store are places that offered a lifeline to many people in the 1930’s. These shops and their produce were vital in the running of a home. The Pawnbrokers became a main area of interest and inspiration for the production. What really struck me was how heavily people relied on pawning such personal items, just to gain the money they needed to survive on a weekly basis.

Poverty became a running theme throughout the devising process, as this was the theme that connected all of these spaces. Poverty is something that most of us can empathise with to varying degrees; for me it was eye opening to hear about the extreme depths people had to go to just to survive. Money is an important part of life so creating a performance that analyses the importance of it seemed really relevant to us all.

I come from a working class family with lots of members to look after; money was not something I had at my disposal whilst growing up. This taught me the importance of money, even just £1, so this piece had a personal meaning to me. The performance featured a comparison of past and present levels of poverty, which presented its own challenges in terms of delivery; but the important message was that poverty stills exits, whether is effects you directly or not. 

For me it was a challenge to create a piece of theatre that ran across various spaces, in this case the show took place in three different areas of the museum.  Having to connect those spaces together became a priority to us. I took on the role of Actor/Steward, as how the audience moved between spaces became an important part of the performance. The difficult thing for me was to find the balance between Actor and a Steward. Being able to switch between the two roles was not something that came naturally to me, so I really had to work on the transitions.

I found working in such confined spaces an exciting opportunity. Although performing in such close proximity to the audience can be nerve wracking, the outcome was extremely rewarding!

I am delighted that I got the opportunity to deliver such an important topic to the audience, and in the process, challenge myself as an Actor.