THE ALLESLEY SILAS
The Allesley Silas has been a three month project with the communities of Allesley and Allesley Park to tell the story of Silas Marner, the weaver of Raveloe.
The fictional village of Raveloe is partly modelled on Allesley (anyone in doubt look at the descriptions of the Stone House - the Red House - and the Rainbow pub in George Eliot’s novel!)
Even before the pandemic this felt like a fantastic story to be telling :
A man fleeing injustice finds shelter on the outskirts of a village – first shunning and shunned by it – then gradually being welcomed into its embrace….
The journey to the performance you will witness tonight has been a remarkable one. In the last few weeks alone we have lost countless performers, allies and friends to illness and the requirement for isolation.
And that has seemed, somehow, appropriate.
This is a story about fellowship, about isolation and mistrust, and the triumphant re-assertion of love, charity, and the values of community.
Here is a message sent by the writer Michael Morpurgo – author of War Horse – to the Allesley Silas company.
"Here is a a story of a man, once an outsider, who in his caring for a child finds redemption, acceptance, respect and love in his community. Silas Marner is a story for all times, and for our times more than ever. Alan Pollock’s adaption for the stage is much anticipated, and will prove an important milestone in the renaissance of theatre in this country, at a time when we all realise, and had often forgotten, how much care and truth and love matters to every one of us."
The Allesley Silas is a story about a community – one familiar to all of us. The show has been made by that community, and is performed in the place where the story is set.
The people you will watch tonight have travelled from far and near to tell the story. From Barn Close, from Winsford Avenue, from Tehran and Kuala Lumpur. Mount Nod, Cheylesmore and Staircase lane…
We’ve worked with churches, community centres, schools, with friends old and new, people who have lived on the estate all their lives, people who have just arrived. People who have been isolated for a year. People who are separated from friends and loved ones. People who live elsewhere and cannot return.
When we began this journey three years ago, no-one imagined the world of July 2021. But here is a glimpse of what a community can do, in partnership.
We hope you enjoy the show.
FROM THE HEART THEATRE
THE SILAS CHORUS
Join our free online workshops to create a new arrangement of a traditional song for the Allesley Silas production. Learning online together for four weeks we'll then create a recording of the choir singing together.
These workshops are a fun taster for a new community choir, an acting 'chorus' who will play a central role in the show representing characters and helping to drive the action of the story. Everybody who takes part in the workshops will be invited to form this choir with rehearsals from the end of June and performances at the end of July.
Workshop sessions will take place on Tuesday nights, from 7pm to 9pm, online on Zoom on 11th May, 18th May, 25th May, and 1st June. After this sessions we'll meet once more to watch the recording together.
We ask that participants try to attend all four sessions, but we will record and share sessions if you need to miss one.
We welcome all residents of Allesley Village, Allesley Park, and nearby areas. You do not need to consider yourself a singer to take part, all contributions are very welcome. There are no age limits to joining the fun. There is no obligation to continue after the workshops, but those that do will also be invited to form a choir that will exist past the Allesley Silas performances.
Email us at AllesleySilasMusic@gmail.com to register your interest or if you have any questions about these events.