Thanks to funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund, in October 2014 Hastings Pier Charity’s Learning and Education department commissioned St. Leonards based street theatre company Inside Out to work with children from Christchurch C of E primary school to devise an original piece of theatre, inspired by the history of Hastings Pier. Ann and Anthony of Inside Out ran workshops with the children which developed their confidence and helped them work towards a live show which they performed twice on Hastings Pier on Sunday 10th July 2016.
During the course of this 10 month project the children learnt about the heritage of Hastings Pier, by exploring the pier’s digital archive and through an on-site visit. The students used their new found knowledge to create scenes which showed how Eugenius Birch designed and built Hastings Pier in the 1800s, then they travelled through time, right up to modern day with the opening Madness concert in 2016.
The children came up with the title of the ‘Fantastic Promenaders’, referencing the Victorian belief in the health giving properties of taking in sea air and the fashion of promenading in all their fineries to see and be seen.
Despite the unexpectedly grotty weather on the day of the performances the children were undeterred and did a great job to an audience of over 400 people.
If you missed the performance you can still experience the show by watching this 20 minute long film. Can you spot the dachshund?: