EastSide Story will broadcast on BBC One on 30th September 2019, explored in documentary style as part of the imagine... series.
The original performance, presented at Chingford Assembly Hall, featured 22 young people from Waltham Forest. In January 2019, Robin Lockhart, Director of Catalyst in Communities, and Bob Singha, Director of Coaching for the Community Coaching Academy, initiated workshops for young people on two neighbouring estates in Waltham Forest. Both groups came together across a weekend to create a piece of theatre that would become EastSide Story. In April 2019, the cast delivered the live musical performance, based on their individual journeys and their plans for the future, to a sell-out audience.
There is a prevalent story being told about what it meant to be young in East London.
We all hear stories about who we are, who we can be and who we must never consider being.
Whether we choose to believe these stories or not changes who we are.
We are not the story told...
Filmed over several months, imagine… EastSide Story will allow viewers to follow a group of young people involved in the project, as they embark on a performance of a lifetime, telling their story in their own words.
Robin Lockhart, Director, Catalyst in Communities, said: “This project has meant a huge amount to me personally. EastSide Story built on my decades of coaching communities to dig deep and find our true inner strength that enables us all to survive and thrive and is based in the community I grew up in. We all hear stories about who we are, who we can be and who we must never consider being. Whether we choose to believe these stories or not changes who we are. Once we realise we are not the stories told... our lives change. The young people and the whole EastSide Story team found something inside that they have always had and that they may have forgotten about and now they will know forever that they are the source of their own feelings and futures...Thank you for reminding me and each other!”
Sam Hunt, Creative Director, Waltham Forest London Borough of Culture 2019, said: “EastSide Story is a personal and powerful take on what it means to be a young person now. These young people are facing challenges and issues everyday with courage and confidence that is beyond inspirational. Their story needs to be told, and needs to be heard by as many people as possible. From day one EastSide Story has been an epic journey of discovery and has been an amazing achievement for all involved. The ground-breaking work of Raw Academy, Catalyst in Communities and the young people involved is an incredible legacy for Waltham Forest London Borough of Culture 2019.”
Sammy Edmonds, Company Director, RAW Academy, said: "At RAW Academy we have an unswerving belief in the power of the arts for young people and adults alike. Eastside Story gave all involved a platform to not just retell their stories but to push further and rewrite them too. This in turn has provided a springboard for unearthed potential and a tangible catalyst for positive change"
imagine…EastSide Story will air on BBC One on Monday 30 September 2019 at 10:35pm.