What if a house could talk?
A fragment of a soldier’s wartime letter… a lost piece of music… 100 years later, the ghostly sounds of a violin are heard coming from the old attic in Highbury House….
Can YOU help us tell the story?
Highbury Whispers is a new cross-arts theatrical education project based at Highbury House, the home of North Herts Music School in Hitchin. Whispers tells the history of the Victorian Highbury House (built 1874) through song, music, words and movement.
For one week in October half term, Highbury House will be transformed with sound, lights, projection and props into a site-specific sensory theatrical set utilising the original Victorian architecture. Audiences will promenade through the rooms, met by costumed choirs, ensembles, narrators and percussion groups who ‘play the space’ and reveal a myriad of timeless stories and hidden secrets. A specially composed Whispers Riff echoes around the building providing a musical link from the past to the music school of the future.
Whipsers is created and delivered by a team of 60 young people (aged 11-17) drawn from NHMS (Saturday Morning Music School & established ensembles), and students at local secondary schools.
Over a 3 month period, the young team will receive mentoring, training and guidance from outstanding industry specialists enabling them create and deliver 6 public performances (26-27 October 2018) of Whispers, a 50 minute site-specific music-theatre production. Fifteen of these young people will form a Youth Production Team who will play a longer-term role in the future of NHMS Productions.
Extracts from Highbury Whispers will be toured and performed as ‘pop-ups’ in local community settings (Hitchin Museum and Hitchin Library) expanding the reach and impact of the project and providing valuable opportunities for young people to engage with a wider range of cultural institutions.
The Whispers project is lead by dramaturge / director Caroline Clegg (Welsh National Opera, Feelgood Theatre), Kate Romano (creative producer for Goldfield Productions), Nicky Footer (Head of Highbury House) and Nick Denham (Participation and Inclusion Officer for North Herts). A team of industry professionals, MusicLab and mentors will work with the young people from April – October 2018 to create the work.