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On common ground

As we wrap up for the Christmas holidays, our creative producer, Andy Alty, reflects on a super-Sunday of sharing from the Company.

Our final Zoom sessions of the year on Sunday 6 December 2020 ended with barnstorming performances from our 55 members. We threw open the virtual doors of our rehearsal room to parents and friends, sharing some of the work we’ve been creating over the last 12 weeks . 

Locked down for half of the term, our subject matter – the great outdoors – proved to be a hugely positive focus as we shared stories about our two mighty commons.

Act One has breathed life into Mitcham Common, reimagining this community space as a non-binary character called Mitch. Mitch has seen an awful lot in their 130-years, from gypsy weddings through wartime bombs, right up to 21st Century dog walkers (please pick up your poo!).

Mitcham Common: a local landmark

Act Two has created so much material about Wimbledon Common that we couldn’t squeeze it all into 30 minutes! Harnessing the theme of ‘protest’, they delivered powerful statements on the meaning of protest, past and present, covering womens’ suffrage, gay rights and the environment. The story they will be telling has a wonderful premise – a group of young people decide to explore the common at night and find themselves taking a trip back through time.

Act Three is building on the huge success of its first film, Isolation, and members are now hard at work on a second movie which will premiere as part of the Canons House re-opening programme in July 2021. The film, narrated by two infamous 19th Century Highwaymen, will take you on a tour of the common, from woods to windmill and from the great to the gruesome. A trailer will be out in March 2021 – watch this space!

View from the audience: Act Three perform on Sunday 6 December

All three groups deserve extra special praise this year. The pandemic has presented a huge challenge and our members have risen spectacularly to that challenge. There’s been a great sense of community and support – even when sound is glitching and cameras are freezing up. Nothing can prevent our intrepid young actors from expressing their creative ideas.

Bring on 2021

All this activity is building up to three original and innovative productions in summer 2021 which will be rehearsed at the brand-new Green Arts Centre – a community theatre in the heart of Mitcham – and performed as part of the Canons House reopening celebrations.

We will also be working with local schools to create paintings, drawings, poetry and prose about our two commons. Details of times and dates of performances and screenings will be released early in 2021.

Thanks to everyone in the WCTT family for your support through the last nine months. With your help we have not only survived, we have flourished!