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Playing Field
Quarantine
1B, Basil Chambers
65 High Street
Manchester
England
M4 1FS

Quarantine was established in 1998 by directors Richard Gregory and Renny O’Shea with designer Simon Banham. We make original theatre, performance and public events with and about the people who are in it. Whatever form it takes, our work begins and ends with the people in the room. Over the last 20 years, we've collaborated with a shifting constellation of artists, performers and people who've never done anything like this before. Our work seeks to create the circumstances for a conversation between strangers...

Playing Field

A sound installation made with young people in 6 schools in Eritrea, India, Manchester and Trinidad – 36 photographs, 36 speakers and 1 kilometre of cable. 

How we made Playing Field

I took on Playing Field as a 2 day a week job with some travel attached.  It was an opportunity to experiment with new ideas and work with young people again.  I don’t usually work within formal education, finding the often contradictory demands are just too difficult to negotiate.  Sometimes I was happily surprised…

The idea was to use the internet.  In reality, I carried out tasks set by the students and became a courier for people’s questions:  Do you have carnival there?  What do you do for fun?  Do you have to get married?  What would you like to change?  Is your country cold or hot?  How was your name chosen?  What’s important?

We recorded sounds, took photographs and found ways to recreate the smells of our lives from traffic fumes to the herbs Grandma would use.  All our conversations and research were brought together in 1 installation exploring young people’s hopes and ambitions from Tamil Nadu to Whalley Range by way of Port of Spain, Eritrea, Didsbury and Wythenshawe.  

It was a wonderful project to work on – of course it was.

– Renny O Shea

 

What do I think Manchester smells of? Smoke from the factories... Student, Port of Spain, Trinidad

Credits

Schools: Barlow RC Comprehensive, Manchester; Fenkel Community High School, Massawa, Eritrea; Kattaikuttu Youth Theatre School, Kanchipuram, India; Mucarapo High School, Port of Spain, Trinidad; Newall Green High School, Manchester; Whalley Range High School, Manchester.

 

Production details

A Creative Partnerships commission, installed at Contact, Manchester, June 2005. 

Notebook