Post by Jade Campbell
On Friday 27 May, I travelled up to Wigan to see the launch of Bunker of Zion, before it comes to Torbay on Weds 15 & Thurs 16 June. It was quite a long journey on the train travelling North, but I had the lovely company of Mair, my Platform producer collaborator.
We arrived in Wigan at about 3:30pm, checked into the hotel and proceeded to explore the town centre. We went to our partner venue, The Old Courts, and had a look around their venue which is such an incredible space. What I realised was that we have so many similarities in Torbay to them, in that we work hard as a community to make good things happen. We are fully invested in our community
– they work just as hard as we do at Doorstep and they love the people they work with in the community, because, like Torbay, we are the community. Our children go to schools in these places, our families are here and therefore we care deeply about what happens here. We also share a common belief – that the arts is a powerful way to engage, create and inspire those that live and work in our places.
After exploring their main venue, we had some food and walked across the town to their new venue, The Wigan Pier. The space is massive and industrial and as we walked around the sides of the building to see the show, we started to feel that sense of excitement that you feel when going to a totally new place that you probably shouldn’t really be exploring. Performers were waiting outside and greeting us into the Bunker of Zion, a place where creativity is allowed to exist. We were given glow stick wrist bands and we bought Bunker cocktails that the artist John Pfumojena concocted with the help of their wonderful cocktail bar man.
Then the beautiful sounds of John’s personal playlist started playing over the speakers we knew it was time to head towards the stage. Situated in the middle of the pier, the audience sat in the round, the lights went dark and all you could see was the glow sticks on other audience members wrists glowing brightly around the room – I immediately felt connected.
Photo credit: JenFoto
The music kicked in and with colour, vibrancy and energy the performers greeted us all, not just John and his immediate artistic team, but the community cast too. All together, different cultures, different stories and all united in this one beautiful space. I won’t give you too much detail, because I don’t want to spoil it for you, but I feel that everyone in Torbay should see this. Our very own ensemble of artists are collaborating with John to weave in their own stories of creativity and dance, spoken word, and music. Clare Parker, our associate Local dance artist, works across Torbay a lot as an independent producer, fundraiser and also runs Filament CiC. Clare has also been collaborating with Devon-based artist Charice Bhardwaj and emerging artists: Tom Stockley, Maya Adams, Sonia Thakurdesai, Kane John Mills, Verity Soley with contributions from Liam Bowles, Doorstep Youth Theatre & James Carr from Drum Torbay, to explore and express their own creativity. Clare has also been leading workshops across Torbay Primary schools too and they will all be part of the incredible Bunker of Zion performance for a special matinee of their own. This is going to be a delightful community event, celebrating culture & creativity in all forms.
Photo credit: JenFoto
If you love music, colour, singing, dance and powerful stories, you will love this incredible explosion of culture and joy. A celebration of Zimbabwean culture and of Torbay’s very own young people and artists sharing their own creative expressions.
Don’t miss out on this wonderful experience, bring your family, friends and loved ones to the Bunker.
You can book your tickets here: