“A really great opportunity to talk about Ashford – for me to integrate into Ashford’s community … to meet people young & old, to share memories, to give each other ideas.”
- – Participant
- “Amazing! I can’t quite believe you put something of this quality together in such a short time. It was an outstanding achievement.”
– Audience member
In January 2017, Emily Parrett and Grace Holme were commission by Ashford Borough Council to create a performance for ‘Mr Harper’s Birthday Picnic’ on the 23rd July in Victoria Park, as part of the council-organised free Create Festival.
Humans of Ashford was an intergenerational theatre and photography project, open to participants of all ages, experiences and abilities. Across three weekends of rehearsals, the project brought together a diverse group of people to create a unique performance all about life in Ashford – celebrating people’s memories, stories and hopes about the town in which we live. It presented a snapshot of what Ashford life really means, as told by the people that live here, for a local audience.
“Fantastic! So creative in showcasing the diversity of Ashford.”
“I can see that your humans had been welded into a tight unit that had really poured heart and soul into the whole production.”
“I thought the performance was great! Full of joy and it really brought the audience in, thinking about their own stories and memories.”
“Excellent. The cast was amazing.”
“Fantastic. Incredible given they only had two weeks to create it. It’s a community. It’s diverse. There are lots of talents in Ashford.”
“Positive and honest […] It focused on people’s real lives, which are always the most interesting stories”
“It was very enjoyable, a really organic feel and wonderful use of participants’ individual talents […] A great way to be creative and part of the community” Participant, female, age 30-49.
“Awesome! Rehearsals were fun and interesting and the performance was a brilliant success […] A fun and interesting community project full of great and interesting people […] I grew in confidence and made many new friends.” Participant, female, age 14.
“It’s a really great experience and you’ll make lots of new friends.” Participant, female, age 15.
“I thought it was amazing and I met great people […] You have to be there, they are amazing.” Participant, male, age 16.
“I thought that it was really nice and relaxed. Even though it was my first show to perform in, I still didn’t feel nervous.” Participant, female, age 18-29.
“Loved every second of it […] An amazing experience.” Participant, male, age 30-49.
“Very professional and organised […] Fun and enjoyable community theatre.” Participant, male, age 18-29.
Special thanks to Ashford Borough Council and St Mary’s Church, Ashford for their support of the project.