Tales of the Sunshine Flats
7th December 2013 – 8th March 2014
Based on their extensive research and interviews they conducted with former and current residents of Kensal House, Kensal Voices participants created and performed Stories in Residence: Tales of the Sunshine Flats, a site-specific interactive performance. The show takes the audience on a journey through the history of the building, from its celebrated opening in 1937 to the present day, while they are listening to recorded memories from residents past and present and are invited to take part in the activities they come across – such as a coronation party for George VI, a sewing and cobbler workshop in the 50s and a game of football in the 70s.
It’s 1937, outside the gates of Kensal House, Max and Liz are greeting their visitors to take them on a tour through the estate, meet its extraordinary residents and unlock its hidden secrets. As the audience is guided through to the community rooms, they are welcomed by Violet and Elsie, who are throwing a party in honour of King George VI’s coronation. There’s dance, a cake competition and a prize raffle!
From the top photos 1,2,3,4,6,8 and 9 by Richard Dufty
In 1951 post-war life is still difficult for the residents of Kensal House: the women are sewing to make a living for themselves, and the men join the cobblers who are discussing the mystery of the stolen wood that heats the building.
We venture outside to 1974, children are in the yard getting ready for a game of football, but there is a new girl on the block who has recently emigrated to England. Although they are cautious at first, she wins their hearts and they accept her with open arms.
Finally we emerge again in the present day – participants come together to share just some of their achievements over the year, proving that Kensal House has brought people together.
In preparation for the show Kensal Voices participants also took part in specialist workshops in producing, design and technical theatre led by producer Amanda Castro, the design team from Curious Fair and technical designer MJ Urbanek.