A taste of the British seaside in three caravans
Bantock House Museum & Park – 7th, 8th, 9th July 2017
Lightwood’s House & Park – 13th,14th, 15th, 16th July 2017
Perilous donkey rides on the beach and rainy days spent shoving pennies in to the bandits at glitzy arcades, fairground dodgems and cheap kiss me quick hats are all memories from the great British seaside holiday.
It may have been relegated to the bottom of the list thanks to cheap overseas flights but for those of us born in the 60s, 70s and 80s, the annual summer getaway to the coast was likely our first fleeting glimpse of the delightful seaside.
Now a project by Black Country Touring, in partnership with SO Festival supported by Creative Black Country and Magna Vitae, explores memories of these trips in a brand new show. Life’s a Beach will feature the stories captured from holidaymakers, residents and daytrippers to the seaside produced from interviews with people of the Black Country and Skegness. Each story will be presented in three specially converted caravans that capture those special memories.
“We’ve interviewed a broad range of people from very different backgrounds across the Black Country and Skegness and heard some beautiful, funny, sad and heartwarming stories.” Comments Co Director Frances Land.
“We have used these to create three very different short performances lasting up to twenty minutes each which will transport our audiences to the wonderful and eccentric world of our British seaside towns.”
Enter a caravan and be transported to a seafront arcade. Pulsing neon and filled with sounds of the slots and bingo. Your caller clad in his Elvis outfit, tells stories of moving to this town “so every day can be a holiday”, whilst his assistant dreams of singing and dazzling the audience with her voice.
Experience the caravan from hell. We’ve all been there, and so has everyone else. The tell-tale signs of the previous visitors are all too obvious and what lurks in the cupboards is anyone’s guess – the seagull with a beak like a razor or the creepy wetsuit that won’t lie down.
Finally, amongst all the grot and the glitz, meet true local heroes – the lifeboat crew. Take your place at the sea’s edge and stare into the oily black water, following the light that searches the sea. Their stories, both funny and tragic, fill the space between.
The Black Country may be the furthest region from the sea but that doesn’t stop thousands packing their picnic baskets as soon as the sun comes out. Join Black Country Touring for memories of those giant pink sugar dummies and trying to catch crabs in the rock pools when the seaside comes to the Black Country for one month this summer.