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‘Fat Cats/Protestors’ – A song by Broken Silence

July 9

 

Broken Silence is Face Front’s theatre group for disabled adults run by Jon French and Angie Wallis at Park Avenue Resource Centre in the borough of Enfield. The group is made up of 25+ adults with sensory and mobility impairments, mental health issues and learning disabilities. 

In 2019 one of our participants told us that she’d seen the famous David Attenborough documentaries about plastic being found in the oceans and suggested that our next production could have an environmental theme. We put the idea to the group and started to think about what happens under the sea. We talked about the way the world on land and the world below the sea need to live in harmony and this was the starting point for our new production. 

The group soon devised the characters they wanted to play, both in the human world and in the underwater world. Amongst the sea-life we meet a dolphin, killer whale, a crab, an oyster, a sea turtle, a manta ray, a shark, a sea snake, a jelly fish, a sea elephant and an octopus, whilst on the land we meet such diverse characters as a builder, a banker, a nurse, a bar owner, a teacher, a music therapist, a ruthless business woman, a racing driver, a detective, a clown, an assassin, a keep fit instructor and a make-up artist to the stars, to name but a few. 

Alongside these ocean dwelling folks, we also meet a fairly dysfunctional family of Mer-People and a marine biologist. Once these characters were in place, the improvisations began. 

Songs were written and a script was created for this new musical called, ‘Equilibrium’, but the prolonged impact of the pandemic meant it could not be performed, although rehearsals continued online. Towards the end of 2020 we decided to try to turn this stage show into a film where we could work in small groups in a socially distanced way and film it on a green screen. Face Front has now built a green screen studio in our existing premises and filming is hoped to start in August 2021. 

It soon became clear that a high-quality soundtrack would be needed for this project. So, work began on that recording. This has been a truly phenomenal task with our musical director Greg Williams coordinating with a self-isolating band and a remote working sound engineer to produce 17 songs. This process included three epic but fantastic days of recording the participants vocals individually before our brilliant sound engineer, Scotty Watson, could start mixing it all together. 

The songs you are hearing as part of this digital festival are the result of extreme hard work, imaginative use of technology, incredible patience, enormous talent and the desire to make something brilliant in an unprecedented and challenging environment. 

In this song the islanders are in the bar, they hear that the island resident biologist Jonathan Marcus has captured a mermaid and taken it back to his lab. A protest song erupts between the islanders, some of them believe that the recent capture of the mermaid is great as it will bring the island lots of money and opportunities. Whereas some of the islanders think that the mermaid will only bring trouble by attracting tourists which will have an environmental impact of their beautiful island paradise. 

Quotes from the artists:

“It was a very good experience, it was exciting, I liked the green screen” – Robin (Broken Silence participant)

“Recording was a new experience, but I felt confident. I followed the songs and had to be counted in. I felt good and quite proud of myself” Richard (Broken Silence Participant) 

“It felt was really good, a fantastic experience. It brought back memories of being in my band” – Rose (Broken Silence Participant) 

“I felt like a pop star with the headphones and the big microphone. It was a good feeling and a good learning experience” – Barry (Broken Silence Participant) 

Details

Date:
July 9

Venue

Online
United Kingdom

Organiser

Face Front Inclusive Theatre
Phone:
020 8350 3461
Email:
sarah-jane@facefront.org
View Organiser Website

During this time of physical distancing, many of our projects and productions have moved online or are now delivered in a ‘blended’ model. 

For other productions or tours – or for general enquiries please email Face Front.

Face Front Inclusive Theatre | Limited Company No. 05154096 | Registered Charity No. 1116506
Main Office & Studio: 52 Market Square, Edmonton Green, London N9 0TZ - Telephone: 020 8350 3461

- Edmonton Green Charity Of The Year 2020/21 -

Email Face Front: info@facefront.org  

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