Visual Theatre

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Carlton Housing Estate

Polyglot Puppet Theatre began working at the Carlton Housing Estate in January 2001, with the aim of producing a large-scale, outdoor theatre performance involving the residents, and based on their ideas and experiences.

The estate is notable for its high proportion of Muslim migrants and refugees from Africa. Many of their children attend the adjacent Carlton South Primary School.

The idea for High Rise originated with Sue Giles, the Artistic Director of Polyglot. Polyglot is a company focusing on funky work with young people. But 'polyglot' itself means many languages, and the company prides itself on reaching a wide audience.

Aiming High

The aim was to create a unique theatrical production based on the lives of the people who live in a high rise community, working specifically with children and young people.

High Rise used stories from the residents, and the first night was spectacular, with large puppets and a giant ladder reaching to the tower windows above, with children climbing the ladder - plus one hundred and eleven kids on stage, a fifteen-person choir, a ten-piece band, five girls on xylophones and many adult residents helping backstage.

public housing art project
public housing art project