Provisional Figures, a theatre project run by Portuguese director Marco Martins with residents of Great Yarmouth, both longer term residents and newcomers, mostly Portuguese but also Slovenian and a Brummie! But at the beginning of the project, none of them knew each other, none of them thought that they were actors or even that they could be. However, the performance is only the tip of the iceberg or the icing on the cake whichever you prefer. The value of the project is in the working together in the buildup to the final show as there are clear bonds formed between the participants and the director but the piece itself was so good. Really well paced, still in parts, dramatic, tender, active with sculptural body movements. Telling the stories of long-term Yarmouth residents and the experiences of newcomers and migrants who were mixing for the first time, learning about each other, a kind of composite of each other's situations.
The participants could have been hand-picked and professionally cast but they were not, They came together because they were invited into a project run by Seachange Arts. But their accomplished piece was so much stronger because it was clear that these were people that had really lived the life they were depicting. Notable scenes - the joys of the Bernard Matthew poultry processing factory, and the tender rendition of a kind of Swan Lake by a skinny man in trainers, long hair and a beard - not a classic ballerina! Afterwards, there was a very touching after-show panel and the chance to ask questions . The actors were clearly affected by their experience and after while were drawn out to talk about it. But this was no sympathy show. These people were strong and accomplished in their production. There is one more show tomorrow night (Saturday) and it is really worth getting a ticket if you can www.nnfestival.org.uk