Walking with Delight

Work in progress performance, June 2021

Commissioned and co-produced with the Manchester Jewish Museum.

Director: Malaika Cunningham
Sound Design: Lee Affen
Dramaturgy: Joseph Houlders
Producer: Linda Bloomfield
Archivist: Tereza Ward

There is a labyrinth of stories in Cheetham Hill. Many of these histories are hard. Perhaps when we look into history, we ghoulishly seek out stories of suffering and hardship. What we remember and retell are the tales of wars, racism and pandemics, and of grinding poverty – silverlined with heroes and success against the odds. But enough has been said elsewhere of these monumental events and tragedies. The stories we want to tell are more everyday, and also more wonderful. They exist within and alongside these hardships, sometimes despite them. These are the stories of love and delight.

 

Love and delight are rare, personal and universal. With this walk we want to capture and celebrate these moments as a new way of exploring the history of Cheetham Hill, and a framing for how we think about its future.

 

We hope this piece will make its walkers smile, share their own moments of love and delight, and connect with the Jewish histories of this area in a different way. It also contains a deeper political message. We hope that in seeking out and acknowledging moments of delight, we can draw out what is important to us, what gives us meaning and how we might cultivate more love and delight in our lives and communities in the future.

 

This piece has been created with the oral testimonies of the Jewish community of Cheetham Hill dating back to the 1920s, collected and held by the Manchester Jewish Museum.

There is a labyrinth of stories in Cheetham Hill. Many of these histories are hard. Perhaps when we look into history, we ghoulishly seek out stories of suffering and hardship. What we remember and retell are the tales of wars, racism and pandemics, and of grinding poverty – silverlined with heroes and success against the odds. But enough has been said elsewhere of these monumental events and tragedies. The stories we want to tell are more everyday, and also more wonderful. They exist within and alongside these hardships, sometimes despite them. These are the stories of love and delight.

 

Love and delight are rare, personal and universal. With this walk we want to capture and celebrate these moments as a new way of exploring the history of Cheetham Hill, and a framing for how we think about its future.

We hope this piece will make its walkers smile, share their own moments of love and delight, and connect with the Jewish histories of this area in a different way. It also contains a deeper political message. We hope that in seeking out and acknowledging moments of delight, we can draw out what is important to us, what gives us meaning and how we might cultivate more love and delight in our lives and communities in the future.

 

This piece has been created with the oral testimonies of the Jewish community of Cheetham Hill dating back to the 1920s, collected and held by the Manchester Jewish Museum.

Director
Malaika Cunningham

 

Sound Design
Lee Affen

 

Dramaturgy
Joseph Houlders

 

Producer
Linda Bloomfield

 

Archivist
Tereza Ward