Senior Youth Theatre’s Catford Tales

Project Dates:  October 2014 – July 2015

Performance Dates:  24th & 25th July 2015

Performance Groups:  LYT’s Senior Youth Theatre, Graduate Company, Community Actors, Technical Theatre group and Rushey Green School

Participants: 90 participants aged 10 – 80 performed in 4 performances

Downloads:  Catford Tales programme and Celebrate Catford leaflet

“Truly inspiring production of ‘Catford Tales’ at Lewisham Youth Theatre.  Appealed to all ages and was such a privilege to hear and see so many local residents memories recreated.  Our attention was captivated for almost 3 hours and we have so much to go away and think about.  An amazing, ambitious project that was executed brilliantly!”
Audience Member

“I enjoyed meeting new people and making new friends.  I am more confident performing outside and working with new people.  I have more hope for Catford’s future and appreciated the history of Catford.  Also I discovered a community.”
Senior Youth Theatre Performer

Visit the Catford Tales Legacy Website to find out more about the project and the history we discovered:

See the trailer for Catford Tales created by Senior Youth Theatre members: 

Catford Tales was an oral history project using verbatim testimony from Catford’s residents.  It was performed promenade through Catford town centre in July 2015.  The project began as Lewisham Youth Theatre’s Senior group project for participants aged 14-21, and engaged members in researching local history, interviewing local people and devising the play.

Celebrate Catford:  As the project developed, the overwhelming interest and support from the local community allowed us to expand this project into Celebrate Catford: a week of performances, exhibitions and events celebrating the culture and heritage of Catford including:

  • Pub Quiz with Catford trivia, including artwork from our participants. This quiz took place at the Constitutional Club, a partner venue and historic building in Catford.
  • Silent Movie Night: Demonstration of the Broadway Theatre’s historic Compton Organ, including live video feed of organ loft, and live music played during screening of ‘Blue Bottles’, a 1928 silent short starring Catford’s own Elsa Lanchester and Charles Laughton.
  • Broadway Stories: Sold-out historical presentation by raconteur Chris Hare and Broadway Theatre’s General Manager Martin Costello.  The talk included anecdotes about the varied acts that have played at the theatre, including Morecambe & Wise, Tommy Cooper, Roy Orbison, the Temptations and Maya Angelou.
  • Hidden Catford: Photographic exhibition featuring 3 local photographers, displayed at Catford Constitutional Club for 3 weeks.
  • People’s Patchwork: Exhibition of a community-created patchwork quilt capturing Lewisham residents’ stories. Displayed at Catford library for 3 weeks.
  • Catford Cats: Exhibition of artwork of Community Education Lewisham’s learners, inspired by cats.  Displayed for 1 week in Lewisham Civic Suite and Broadway Theatre Gallery.
  • Public Art Exhibition: Exhibition of oversize cats and cat paraphernalia (i.e. giant mice, cat collar, parakeet) displayed in Lewisham Shopping Centre for 1 week.
  • Catford Vinyls: Stylized images of Catford’s iconic buildings and quotes from community members, displayed in shop windows in Catford Town Centre, including in Tesco windows, for 1 week

Project Funders:

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Core Supporters:

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Presenting Partners:

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