The sun always seems to shine on Chol shows, and it certainly did for the Flock of Stories performances at the RSPB Old Moor, in a play inspired by stories gathered from the local mining community of Barnsley, collected by Chol Director, Mandy with support from volunteer, Jayne.
The final performance took place on Sunday 26 September. We were thrilled to be joined by Anne Scargill and Betty Cook, who shared memories and experiences that were integral in the creation of the play’s protagonist Birdie, the woman finding her voice and proudly supporting her community in the Miners’ Strike of 1984.
The day began with the moving sounds of the Rockingham brass band playing in the courtyard, and later in the performance a chorus sang out to the powerful voice of Marie Hemsley’s ‘We are Women, We are Strong’. With the brave voices of Anne and Betty, the picket line felt bold too. And alongside stunning music, Barnsley actors Catherine Copley, Dean Love and Jack Riley gave playful and touching performances which truly brought the Flock of Stories to life.
Carly-Ann Clarke, Writer and Director at Chol said, ‘it felt so exciting to be working with the local community once more, and to learn about the history of the local mining community through story-telling and performance was a total joy. The locals who shared their stories were inspirational. It was great to see our Cholavan playing its role too!’
The Flock of Stories project was made possible with funding by the National Lottery through the RSPB Old Moor Dearne Valley.