Best Days of our Lives was a musical play performed in Chester Cathedral in the autumn of 2015, telling the colourful stories of children from different generations who grew up in one of the city’s most vibrant neighbourhoods.
This project continues the ‘Cultural Capital in Telling Tales’ project with which I been engaged for several years as writer-in-residence for Theatre in the Quarter. During this time I’ve created and produced plays with TiQ based on local history and community reminiscence in order to raise awareness of local issues, to educate, provide communities with improved access to the theatre and to improve opportunities for local theatre professionals.
The 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF) recognised the impact of Cultural Capital in Telling Tales, with aspects of the project assessed as having ‘very considerable impacts in terms of their reach and significance’, achieving a three-star ranking.
Best Days of Our Lives was commissioned by David Williams, chair of the Blacon Education Village and Head of Dee Primary School. The aim was to raise confidence and pride in Blacon, which has traditionally been seen as being on the ‘wrong side of the tracks’. We aimed to dispel this, and offer residents and school children things to celebrate about their local community.
Best Days of Our Lives was performed in Chester Cathedral to sell out audiences by a cast of over a 100 school children, and three professional actors: Judi Jones, Rachael Rae and Francis Tucker.
Reviews and Links
“If school days are meant to be the best days of our lives, then you may as well just sign your kids up for a Blacon school and be done with it.”
Chester Chronicle Review
It is difficult to express how wonderful this tribute to the community of Blacon was.”
Chester Culture Review
Legacy film, used in performance