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The CFT Elders Company

The CFT Elders Company began in 2020, and much like the rest of the Festival Season that year, the pilot project was disrupted by the pandemic and it evolved into an online programme.

Eight participants wrote original monologues inspired by Penelope Skinner’s The Village Bike. The Company workshopped and performed their pieces (which can be found on our YouTube channel) over Zoom, and awaited the time when CFT’s doors would open again.

In October 2021, the LEAP team auditioned for a new Elders Company; and the Company of eight formed to create an original response to David Storey’s Home. After watching the production, the cast pooled their initial thoughts and landed on several key questions: what were the real histories of the characters? Is there any hope, or room for a happy ending? Why did David Storey write the play in the first place?

The Company engaged in an intensive six-day rehearsal week, where they devised a wealth of new material, structured around the introduction of a new character: the gardener. The Elders Company 2021 performed their piece on the Festival Theatre stage on 30 October 2021 to an audience of family, friends and the cast of Home themselves. Audience feedback from the event spoke of a “gut-bustingly funny, heart-warming” piece that left onlookers “both moved and uplifted afterwards.” Another said, “It felt provocative, sad, funny; full earth and sky and heartfelt humans.”

After two exciting projects, we are looking forward to developing more work as we celebrate our 60th anniversary this year.