Work starts on spectacular multi-media exhibition – ‘Out of the Mouth of the Parrett’

Local people’s thoughts, memories and pictures of the river Parrett are to be displayed in a one-of-a-kind creative exhibition next month.

The ‘Out of the Mouth of the Parrett’ project has been developed by Somerset County Council’s Libraries Service with Theatre Mélange, a company with a national reputation for producing innovative public events celebrating particular places and their people.

Local people of all ages and walks of life have been on a voyage of discovery to reveal all that is unique about this extraordinary river landscape. Over 600 people’s thoughts and aspirations have been displayed on the Parrett’s Mouth willow walls in the libraries of Bridgwater, Langport, South Petherton and Martock.

Theatre Mélange have also been filming the spectacular sights and sounds of the river alongside personal stories from an of array colourful characters: dockers to willow growers, sea pilots to mud-horse fishermen, boat builders, birdsong, wetlands, watermills, ropewalks and pumping stations.

This voyage of discovery 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 as seen through the eyes of the people who live there.

‘Out of the Mouth of the Parrett’ will be a free event for adults and children (aged 8 +) running from 21 March to 8 April.

Cllr David Hall, Somerset’s Lead Member for Libraries, said: “This flagship project is developing Somerset Libraries as vibrant centres of cultural activity and extending 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 here people have brought in their own real-life stories to be shared”.

To keep up to date with how the ‘Out of the Mouth of the Parrett’ project is progressing, join us also on Twitter via #parrettsmouth and at @MelangeECHO and @SomersetLib, follow the Parrett blog at www.somerset.gov.uk/parrettsmouth or visit www.facebook.com/TheatreMelange/

This innovative venture is a partnership between Somerset Library Service, Theatre Mélange, South Somerset District Council, Sedgemoor District Council, 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.