Leighton Buzzard Library Theatre and Townsend Productions will create a community project based on the Chartist Movement, a working-class movement for political reform that has some key links to the town.
The project will create a community choir, drawing on local people from Leighton Buzzard and the surrounding villages and rural areas. Townsend Productions will work with identified targeted groups such as the Tictac Centre (the town council’s youth provision) as well as community users of the theatre like Sparx, Adventures in Theatre and CBC Work Clubs.
Two years ago, a tiny 165-year-old pamphlet, stored in a box at a Yorkshire public library, was identified as the only surviving copy of a Chartist hymn book. Its rarity is quite unique as even the British Library doesn’t have a copy. This will provide the starting point for the script which will be devised and developed through a series of workshops involving the community choir and professional actors, engaging and involving the general public as the project becomes embedded in the community.
The culmination of this project will take place at Leighton Buzzard Library Theatre in 2015.