Together to the Workhouse Door

Together to the Workhouse Door (c) David Kirkham

At Orchestras Live, we believe that audiences and participants should have a voice in a production, it’s at the heart of our work. We produce many projects that are relevant to, and designed by, participants. Together to the Workhouse Door exemplifies this approach.

In 2017, nearly 100 school children and community participants from across 11 schools and community groups worked on an ambitious choral and creative writing project, inspired by one of Norfolk’s best loved museums.  Commissioned by Norfolk Museums Service, Orchestras Live brought together celebrated composer James Redwood, poet Lucy Sheerman, Sinfonia Viva and singers of all ages from local communities to create an original oratorio inspired by true workhouse stories uncovered within the Gressenhall archives.

Groups of singers joined together to animate different spaces inside the Grade II listed workhouse (one of the most important and best-preserved workhouses in the UK) with all performers coming together for an inspiring open-air performance in the workhouse courtyard.

“We learnt so many skills: how to work together as a team, how to build our confidence on a big stage, lots of history about life in the workhouse, song writing skills, acting skills, how to work with an orchestra, and so much more….…it’s the best experience we have ever had, …this experience will always be part of our lives and we will always remember it. Thank you.”
Foulsham Primary School

Watch the video below of writer Lucy Sheerman, composer James Redwood and conductor David Lawrence talking about their roles in the project and how the participants took to the subject matter.



Read more

Project announcement – read more
Mid-project updates with photos and videos from the inspiration day – read more
Feedback and photos following the project culmination – read more