THE TALKING SHOP
the Omidaze Production’s Talking Shop 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 Dirty Protest, Creative Cardiff and The National Assembly of Wales. Omidaze is delighted to be part of the first Cares Family Multiplier Programme and has been awarded funding to reopen & develop The Talking Shop in Autumn 2021
“Evocative and inspiring to a level I could not imagine.”
The Talking Shop pilot was a month long conversation with the public in Cardiff City Centre.
“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
The Idea –
A Creativity and Democracy Information Space
“Love this space. Very Welcoming and Open”
A public R&D space which encourages and promotes cultural and democratic engagement.
The Talking Shop pilot was a public R&D space which encouraged and promoted cultural and democratic engagement.
The Talking Shop pilot was located in an empty shop in Cardiff City Centre.
It was a month long conversation with the public and a space for the public and artists to talk, and for artists to create in response.
The Talking Shop encouraged and facilitated public engagement with creativity, arts and culture, and democratic systems and structures. It was a public space in which to articulate, champion and strengthen participation in and the role of culture and democracy in society and empower 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 could be again.
A Democracy Information Centre
It was also 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.
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.
We wanted to research two things.
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.
As an old Japanese proverb says
“None of us are as smart as all of us”
The Talking Shop writers in residence were
Tracy Harris and Kyle Lima.
Tracy and Kyle joined Omidaze partners Yvonne Murphy (Producer & Director) and Dick Johns (Writer) in The Talking Shop between March 25 and April 30. Both writers are receiving dramaturgical support from Omidaze and our partners National Theatre Wales and Dirty Protest.
A sample of their, and Omidaze partner Dick Johns, work which has come from The Talking Shop was presented as Public Rehearsed Readings in June 2019. Kyle Lima has rreceived 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.
Please click on the links below for info on our four productions to date: