Ragroof Theatre

Category: Artist

As theatre-makers we are fascinated by the way that stories and memories become brighter, more vivid in the retelling. Our work is often inspired by the very smallest detail, and it is in the retelling of any story, with the added elements of theatricality, that these details, the essence of memory, come to life.

As the band strikes up and the glitter-ball twirls, the bandstand is brought to life by glamorous dancing couples from the roaring twenties through to the thrifty fifties. Get ready to enjoy the Charleston, Waltz, Tango, Foxtrot and Jive.

‘Shall We Dance?’ Is a show designed for bandstands, inspired by the memories of local older people about dance and their dance partners. The audience are transported back to a time when the intricate rituls of courtship were played out on the dance floors of village halls and grand ballooms alike. As one costume is peeled off to reveal another, the music races through years gone by. Newly composed soundscapes, entwined with old favourites and interspersed with recorded memories, deliver a memorable soundtrack for a visual feast.

‘Shall We Dance? is a devised theatre show inspired by the memories of local older people about dance and their dance partners.

This is a mid-scale production for audiences for all ages, performed on and around a bandstand by a cast of ten performers. The show can be toured, either with its own purpose built bandstand or can be adapted and made specific to a local bandstand.

A live installation ‘The Documentation Booth’ also accompanies the performance and is open to members of the public; it displays photographs, sound recordings and video footage gathered during the research period.

‘Ragroof Theatre’s ‘Shall We Dance?’ was a delightful climax to the National Theatre’s 2006 Watch This Space season. Witty, moving, energetic and well executed, it reiterated Ragroof’s reputation for creating unusal outdoor theatre which captures the past, without ever being sentimental.’

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