Somerset Libraries are inviting local people from Steart Peninsula, Bridgwater, Langport, South Petherton, Martock and beyond to join a voyage of discovery that will reveal all that is special about the unique riverside landscape along the River Parrett in Somerset.
‘Out of the Mouth of the Parrett’ is a joint project between Somerset Libraries, run by Somerset County Council, and Theatre Mélange – a national company with a reputation for innovative public events that tour the UK and abroad.
Local people are being asked to consider what they think is special about working or living near the River Parrett, and to share any memories, thoughts or pictures connected to it. People are encouraged to come along to their local library to tell their stories about life around the Parrett so they can be added to the ‘Postcards from the Parrett’ wall in local libraries.
The project is just about to begin and everyone is invited to join Somerset Libraries for the first of the participatory events involving local communities. These will take place in the libraries at Bridgwater, Langport, Martock and South Petherton on the following dates:
- Monday 9 May, 2016, 11am to 4.30pm at Martock Library
- Tuesday 10 May, 2016, 11am to 1pm and 2pm to 4.30pm at South Petherton Library
- Thursday 12 May, 2016, 11am to 5pm at Langport Library
- Friday 13 May, 2016, 11am to 5pm at Bridgwater Library
People can join in the virtual voyage by following Tweets using the hashtag #parrettsmouth, or by following the Somerset Libraries or Theatre Melange Twitter pages (@SomersetLib) and @MelangeECHO). They will also be able to find us on Facebook, at the Theatre Mélange pagewww.facebook.com/TheatreMelange, Bridgwater Library page or Yeovil Library Page (for Martock and South Petherton events).
Friends of Langport Library will also be posting updates on their Facebook page, and there will be regular updates with stories and photos on the ‘Out of the mouth of the Parrett’ blog, details of which will be available at the first public events.
Cllr David Hall, Cabinet Member with responsibility for Somerset libraries said: “This will be a flagship project that will further develop Somerset Libraries as vibrant centres of cultural activity and extend participation within our communities across the County. Thanks to investment from Arts Council England we are delighted to be working with Theatre Mélange again, who have an excellent track record of involving local communities in the creation of exciting public events about the local area. Traditionally people may think of taking stories out of a library, but for this project we are asking you to bring your own stories in, to be shared.”
In March 2017, ‘Out of the Mouth of the Parrett’ will culminate in an original multi-media production that will transform Bridgwater Library using light, sound and film to tell the story of life around the River Parrett, past, present and future.
‘Out of the Mouth of the Parrett’ is the sequel to the company’s highly acclaimed ECHO Portraits of the Somerset Coast, including Minehead (2010), Watchet (2012) and Burnham (2013). These colourful portraits, as seen through the eyes of the people who live and work there, use film and live performance to capture real-life stories showcasing the distinctive sights and sounds of the landscape. www.theatremelange.com/echo.html
The project is a partnership between Somerset County Council’s Library Service, Theatre Mélange, South Somerset District Council, Sedgemoor District Council and South West Heritage Trust and is supported with financial investment from Arts Council England, the National Lottery, Somerset County Council and South Somerset District Council.
For more information about the project, or how you can get involved, please email Jackie Dunn, Development Officer for Somerset Library Services at firstname.lastname@example.org
Notes to Editors:
About the Theatre Mélange Company
Theatre Mélange is a professional arts organisation and registered charity that has successfully operated since 1996. It has gained a national reputation for innovative work that includes the creation of participatory events and public performances that tour the UK and abroad.
Originally located at the landmark De La Warr Pavilion, the company relocated to Somerset in 2009 launching its arrival with the ECHO Project. It is supported with financial investment from Arts Council England, the National Lottery, Somerset County Council and the European Union.