It will be a family friendly musical that tours to local parks; a magical cafe that has portals in booths that transport the audience to other worlds in different parts of the park. During the day, plans are for it to be an actual cafe that serves coffee while live music is performed. At night it will transform into the set for the new show.
The idea behind The Songbird Café is to explore the crisis in mental health, loneliness and isolation which BPT members have said is the most pressing theme currently, something that has been exacerbated by the pandemic.
Naomi Alexander, Brighton People’s Theatre artistic director, said: “The show will create a metaphorical world that will explore these themes but won’t necessarily be about them. Brighton People’s Theatre hope The Songbird Café will be an uplifting experience for all the family, bringing local people together to sing, dance and have a good night out.”
Ideas for The Songbird Café will be developed between January-June 2022. A creative team of four different artists will each work with local people and lead on the development of their art form, in collaboration with Naomi.
They don’t know what the story is going to be yet, or who the characters will be. They don’t know what the set and costumes will look like, what the music will sound like, or what the songs or dances will be.
They want to discover all of this with the people of Brighton and beyond during 2022.
They’re looking for local people with an interest in creative writing, performing, dancing, songwriting and singing, and set and costume design to be a part of bringing The Songbird Café to life.
They’re not looking for professionals. They want to meet people who have some experience or enthusiasm for an art form but may not have had many opportunities to develop it.
If this sounds like you and you are excited by the idea of being a part of The Songbird Café, register your interest to be part of the research and development process by Thursday the 20 January.
Naomi added: “We are really excited to be making our next show, The Songbird Café in 2022. We have a cracking team of artists who are looking forward to meeting and creating the story, the set and costumes, the songs and the dances with local people. We’re looking for people who love to be imaginative and enjoy working with others. We are really grateful to Arts Council England for funding and Brighton Festival for commissioning the research and development of our show.”
Beth Burgess, Brighton Festival executive producer, added: “The Songbird Café builds on our valued partnership with Brighton People's Theatre, and the Our Place communities we have been working with for the past few years. This project puts community at the centre of its creation, and we couldn’t be more excited to see it develop over the next year.”
Saturday 29 January 2022 10am – 5pm
Sunday 27 February 2022 10am – 5pm
Sunday 27 March 2022 10am – 5pm
Sunday 24 April 2022 10am – 5pm
Performers rehearse every Tuesday evening in May 2022 with the Directors
Saturday 11 June 2022 10am – 5pm (sharing to friends and family)