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Hundreds gather to watch street theatre in Newbury

Polish theatre company put on emotional show

HUNDREDS of spectators gathered in Newbury town centre over the bank holiday weekend to watch a street theatre performance exploring the impact of war on civilians.

Silence, by Polish company Teatr Biuro Podróy, was the latest of the Corn Exchange’s free outdoor events, with nearly 2,000 people turning up to watch on Sunday and Monday.

Featuring physical theatre, fire, unusual staging, puppetry and music, the performance continued the theatre group’s story of refugees and migrants caught up in a spiral of war, fences and dreams of escape.

Founded in 1988, Teatr Biuro Podróy are one of the world’s leading outdoor companies, known for their production Carmen Funebre, which explored similar themes.

Its sequel received a positive response from Newbury spectators, with many taking to social media to praise the performance.

Felicity Merchant said that Silence was “an amazing and thought provoking show”, while Michelle Walker said the “brilliant, devastating and powerful” show had left her stunned.

Newbury town councillor Margo Payne described Silence as “a thought-provoking, moving performance”.

“An emotional wreck is putting it mildly!” Chrissie Wilding said.

“Fantastic portrayal of man’s inhumanity to man so terribly sad. Well done to the actors – it was so poignantly portrayed. Thank you to the Corn Exchange for these events. Much appreciated.”

Corn Exchange co-director Katy Griffiths said: “We’re thrilled with the response we’ve received to Silence – this was a very different event to that of Colour of Time earlier on in the summer.

“We aim to present a varied programme of work and it was wonderful to see so many people came out on the bank holiday weekend to support our outdoor arts programme.”

The next date in the Corn Exchange’s free outdoor arts programme is the popular annual Festival of Light: Lantern Procession, which will take place in the town centre on Sunday, December 11.

For more information visit www.cornechangenew.com

The programme is supported by Greenham Common Trust and Arts Council England.

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