William Blake, of London’s Soho and Lambeth, died in 1827. His art, poetry and philosophy were well ahead of their time. He helped us narrate and punctuate a story in which a homeless girl reclaims her life and soul, with lucid and candid verse.
The Songs of Innocence and Experience act as a vehicle for the story of homeless Lyca, as she struggles to regain her own ‘green and pleasant land’, with the help of people who befriend her. The battle for her soul, between Innocence and Experience, becomes frightening yet thrilling.
The play was based partially on reports of residents of ‘Cardboard City’ on London’s South Bank (in Blake’s Lambeth) being displaced to more risky locations by so-called ‘progress’ when the IMAX cinema was built on the site.”
Aptly, the show’s venue at the Fringe is a soup kitchen for the homeless.
Critical Stage Co.’s 50 minute show (‘Experience the Innocence’), contains original music and imagery, also deals with environmental issues, issues which ring true in much of Blake’s work (“those dark satanic mills”). It is, in part, a continuation of a European Social Fund materials science project, ‘Recycling for Life’, co-run by CSC and Liverpool University. Unemployed Merseyside women were enrolled and taught the skills required to devise ‘Dream 2B Green’, which comprised a play, booklet, CD ROM and website.
‘Dream 2B Green’ was toured around schools in the area helping young people understand more about recycling. It is featured within ‘Experience the Innocence’, which itself is touring Merseyside this Autumn.
‘EXPERIENCE THE INNOCENCE’ was performed at GREYFRIARS KIRK HOUSE, 86 Candlemaker Row (Venue 28) at the Edinburgh fringe August 2000