Past/Present/Future – The Spirit of Dickens in Slough
Past, Present, Future marked 175 years since Dickens classic A Christmas Carol was published and Anna produced this winter festival to provide an opportunity for residents & artists in Slough to celebrate our history, our current artistic & community achievements & look ahead to what next for our people & place.
Using the amazing heritage backdrop & context of The Mere, Anna worked with local spoken word, poets & writers of all ages to share their experiences of Slough past, present & future. Local choirs and musicians created, shared and integrated their work to form one performance piece. The Mere not only offered a beautiful building & backdrop, but the opportunity for participants & audiences to explore a largely unknown Slough history of Charles Dickens publishers ‘Bentley’s’ as creative inspiration for creating, performing, reading & hearing poetry, prose & lyrics today.
We connected to the core themes of the story as a starting point for work. Past, Present, Future echoes the ghosts that Scrooge meets & is also broad enough for all to interpret in their own artistic & secular ways.
In additional to the finale event at The Mere, Anna worked with over two hundred Slough residents who took part in art activity across Slough – in our libraries, shopping centres, pubs and at cultural hub The Curve.
Anna worked with Emergency Exit Arts to install their 14ft high illuminated Peace Poem on The Curve Plaza as part of its national tour to commemorate 100 years since the first day of peace after WWI.
People of all ages responded to & reflected on the connected themes of redemption, forgiveness, community & what makes us truly rich…
Produced in partnership with Slough Museum, Slough Libraries, The Curve, The Charles Dickens Museum, Emergency Exit Arts and HOME Slough.
Supported by Arts Council England
Nell of Slough
We had our home here
We laughed and loved here
We shared stories
We shared journeys
We shared, everything
He & Catherine were not made for each other
What befell between us was ever coming
We were destined to be lovers
Written in ink, written in the stars
His secret, magic circle of one
Mended his mind when the crash left him undone
Only death us did part
But what he bequeathed me was forever
Not the thousands or the jewels, not our cottage on the High Street
These are spent, lost, destroyed
My prize was to be immortalised
Through gleam of fire from intense dark eyes
Characters enduring history
Charlie created them from me
Estella, Lucie, Helena, Bella
We are the other women
So my man & I bound are together
In pages, on stages connected together
These voices ever telling the pain
Of love across all time that’s touched with shame…
anna jones © 2018