We have teamed up with national charity, Trees for Cities, to bring a story of gardening, friendship, and food to children.
The story begins in a city full of concrete, on the sixth floor of a tower block that is bursting with flowers, fruit, and vegetables growing up walls, twisting around handrails, and planted in unusual everyday objects. The man who lives here grows them to brighten up the grey, and to feed those for whom hunger is never far away. This little oasis stops him feeling lonely, and one day, a child appears eager to learn. A friendship blooms that takes them on an adventure out into the city as the garden begins to outgrow the balcony.
Created for 3 – 6-year-olds and their families, this performance will celebrate how gardening brings communities together and breathes new life into abandoned places. It will gently highlight food poverty, climate change, activism, and the power of reclaiming space.
We began R&D for A Hidden Garden (first working title ‘Guerilla Gardening’) in July 2021 with workshops in schools. In partnership with the charity Grow to School, the workshops helped us to understand more about what children know and feel about gardening, growing, and the themes we are exploring. They are co-authors in our story, helping us build a tale based on their ideas and experiences.
The production design will combine urban living and nature with a balcony garden at the centre of the story. The garden will expand into the audience during the performance allowing them to get involved. They will laugh, imagine, and join in with the storytelling, and at the same time be inspired about how they can help the environment or make sure everyone they live near has enough to eat.
We will tour A Hidden Garden to small-scale studios and non-traditional spaces in spring 2024.
Watch the film from the R&D planting, performance and story sharing day at Co-op Academy Princeville in Bradford in June 2022
Watch the film from our R&D in July 2021
Children and young people lead us in exploring important stories with artists, families, schools, and students. Here are their stories: