The Talking Shop

THE TALKING SHOP

A Cultural & Democratic Information Centre

“Every town should have a Talking Shop” Talking Shop Visitor

Watch the short Talking Shop explainer film.

Read the full report or story so far can be found here

The Talking Shop has lead to The Democracy Box project funded by Clwstwr

Omidaze is delighted announce that we are part of the first Cares Family Multiplier Programme and have been awarded a small grant towards reopening & developing The Talking Shop in early 2022.

Talking Shop partners for 2022 now include National Theatre of Wales; The Abbey Theatre, Dublin;  Cardiff Council; Senedd Cymru; Menter Caerdydd; Menter Iaith Merthyr Tudful Theatr Soar; Riverfront Newport; Taking Flight Theatre Company; Heads4Arts;NoFitState Circus; Leonora Thomson; Dr Anwen Elias Aberystwyth University & Dr Matthew Wall Swansea University.

For further information or if you would like to be a partner or fund The Talking Shop please email Yvonne Murphy aka Omidaze (OhMyDays!)Productions y.murphy1@ntlworld.com 

THE TALKING SHOP© Omidaze (OhMyDays!)Productions 2019

The  Talking Shop pilot

The pilot took place between March 25 and April 20 2019 in 33 High Street Arcade Cardiff and was an Omidaze Productions R&D project made possible through the support of National Theatre Wales with additional support from Catherine Paskell & Dirty Protest, Creative Cardiff, Senedd Cymru & our team of volunteers Lewis Gwyther, Jennifer Lunn, Ella Maxwell, Shane Nickels & George Soave.

The Talking Shop was designed by Yvonne Murphy along with 2nd year USW Design Students Bethan Thomas & Ashley Phillips with illustrations by 2nd year Cardiff Met CSAD students Maria Elorza Saralegui & Vicky Yang and was further curated during the month it was open by over 550 visitors including creatives and artists or all disciplines and members of the public from all over the world. Everyone had free tea courtesy of Cardiff City Council.

Evocative and inspiring to a level I could not imagine.”

The Talking Shop encouraged and facilitated public engagement with creativity, arts and culture, and democratic systems and structures.

Love this space. Very Welcoming and Open” Talking Shop Visitor

The Talking Shop was a public space in which to articulate, champion and strengthen the role of culture and democracy in society and empower and inform people and thereby increase participation through a sharing of information and knowledge.

We invited all artists & creatives and the public to use the space to work, to think, to talk, to find stuff out, to share, to be. Together.

 

A Cultural Information Centre

In The Talking Shop you could find out things. What was on in theatres and performance spaces in Cardiff and beyond. What shows were on in galleries, what exhibitions were happening, concerts and workshops. You could find out about creative learning and participation projects and how to book an artist to deliver work in your school or business. It was a physical listings hub. A place to drop in and find stuff out. To add to. To be part of. It was a physical ‘What’s On’ Space. It was a one-stop shop which everyone helped curate. It will be again.

A Democracy Information Centre

The Talking Shop was a place to find out about and understand our democratic structures and systems. It had no political bias or party affiliation. Our democratic systems were explained. The difference, for example, between local elections and general elections. You could pick up leaflets and information about the engagement team at the Welsh Assembly or book a workshop to come to your school. You could find out about our parliaments, how to start a petition and who holds the power. Who to speak to about what. Access, Engagement and Social Justice were and are key. It lead to Omidaze’s creation of The Democracy Box and will host this work when it reopens in Early 2022.

A Creative Centre

The Talking Shop was for artists, creatives and the public to get together, share ideas, collaborate. It is a new way of working. We invited people to just pop in and sit on the sofa. Have a cup of tea and be inspired, challenged, informed. Work. Listen. Network. Research. We invited artists and creatives and members of the public to just drop in and meet each other. To share information, ask questions, discuss. We positioned questions around the shop and invited the public to discuss a new question each day. We invited people to step inside. To think about this. Together.

We know that we want to focus on political and cultural engagement. Omidaze wanted to research two things in the Talking Shop pilot -our next production(s) and the concept of The Talking Shop itself.

To do both these things we knew we had to seek out voices that are currently under-represented in our theatres, our live performances and our audiences. We decided to listen carefully to what excites, angers, engages and inspires people in Wales and Britain today. We wanted to hear people’s views and thoughts on politics, culture and society. We knew we needed to not be behind closed doors to develop our next piece. We knew we needed to stop doing the talking and listen. Really listen. And perhaps have some difficult conversations.

And we did.

As an old Japanese proverb says

“None of us are as smart as all of us”

 

The Talking Shop writers in residence

Tracy Harris, Kyle Lima & Dick Johns were The Talking Shop pilot writers in residence and received dramaturgical support from Omidaze and our partners National Theatre Wales and Dirty Protest.

A sample of their work which came from The Talking Shop was presented as Public Rehearsed Readings in June 2019. Kyle Lima has since received a seed commission from National Theatre Wales to write the first full draft of his play and Dick Johns’ first draft is ready for a rehearsed reading when Covid 19 permits.

“Just wanted to send you a message after Thursday’s Talking Shop event, to say how important I think your work is. I know the Talking Shop has all sorts of amazing benefits but the key on for me is the social side of things – not only finding people through networking which allows us to take steps toward leading the life we want, as well as helping others do the same – but also just simply finding people to talk to… There’s such a feeling of importance to this whole project. I hope something can come out of it.”

Lucy – Talking Shop Visitor and Rehearsed Readings Audience Member

 

Please click on the links below for info on our four productions to date: