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| Niamh Hicks

Our member Nick shares his experience of being part of BPT

The autumn term started back up online for Brighton Peoples’ Theatre and I couldn’t wait to get back into it. The summer workshops had stopped in June sometime and I was definitely getting withdrawal symptoms. I needed my creative side to be tested once again!

But first, a little backstory.

I have absolutely no experience of theatre at all, and this time last year I remember my fear, anxiety, and anticipation at the thought of going along to one of Brighton People’s Theatre’s workshops. At that time, they were being held at Brighthelm in the city centre. Now, I can’t get enough of the workshops. They allow all sorts of different people from every walk of life to get together and join in one common purpose of creating something wonderful. Whether that’s monologues, poems, short story ideas or just gathering people’s recollections of everyday life, recording it and transcribing it as verbatim theatre…and yes if you’re wondering before a few weeks ago, I had no idea what verbatim theatre was!

Image credit: Rosie Powell

And that brings me to another joy of Brighton Peoples’ Theatre; you don’t have to have any previous experience of theatre, just be open to working within your comfort zone and participate in as much as is good for you…. what’s not to like?!

Week one autumn term: First we said our hellos and chatted amongst ourselves about what we’d been up to in the preceding two or three months, while Brighton Peoples’ Theatre organisers had taken a well-deserved break.

In the first week back we were tasked with the job of making up a story that had to include three or four different elements that were given to us. We went off into groups of around three people and were given ten or fifteen minutes to mash something together. What an opportunity to be as silly, humorous, whimsical, and comedic as possible. That’s what’s so great about this; imagination is infinite. How wonderful it is to put it to work for a positive effect. Whether that’s doing a task on your own, or going off in groups and creating together.