In 1994 hundreds of coal miners hung up their pit boots as Grimethorpe Colliery was destroyed, along with the tight-knit working-class community that surrounded it. Created to mark the 25th anniversary since the demolition and 30 years since the rise of UK rave culture, WASTELAND is the highly anticipated new dance theatre show from acclaimed British choreographer Gary Clarke and the sequel to his multi award winning production COAL.
This thrilling yet deeply touching production takes a close look at how two generations coped in this era of radical upheaval. A fractured relationship between a father and son is at the heart of the story, and as we see one generation grind exhaustedly to a halt, we follow the next into the 90s illegal rave scene, where derelict warehouses and abandoned work spaces became home for a new-found community of music and dance.
Bringing together Clarke’s vivid physical dance language performed by a company of exceptional dancers, a community cast of singers, brass musicians, archive film footage, a powerful rave soundtrack and unique art work by Jimmy Cauty (co-founder of The KLF), WASTELAND dives head first into a gritty story of loss, hope, escapism and survival.
Thursday 27 February & Friday 28 February 2020
DanceXchange, The Patrick Studio, Birmingham Hippodrome
“Blisteringly fierce” ★★★★ The Herald
“Poignant and thrilling” ★★★★ The Skinny
“Brilliant” ★★★★★ The Herald on Sunday
“Wasteland is a truly wonderful piece of dance-theatre: humane, politically charged, by turns funny and sad.” ★★★★★ The Stage
Thursday’s Post-Show Talk was led by Jez Collins, the founder and director of the Birmingham Music Archive. His current project is documenting the history of the legendary Que Club, the centre of rave and dance culture in Birmingham that was located in the iconic Grade II* Methodist Central Hall.
Wasteland is co-commissioned by: Nottingham Playhouse, Tramway, Cast, Dance4, The Place, DanceXchange, Gulbenkian, Art31, Contact Theatre, Grand Theatre Blackpool, Civic Barnsley, Yorkshire Dance, with additional support from Lawrence Batley Theatre, Northern Ballet, Leeds Dance Partnership, Northern School of Contemporary Dance, Jon Kinsey Hairdressing, Stirling Pit Women and public funding by the National Lottery
Jez Collins is the founder and director of the Birmingham Music Archive C.I.C. a cultural and creative arts organisation that captures, documents and celebrates the musical culture of Birmingham and develops associated projects such as exhibitions, tours, talks, youth and community-focused projects and broadcast media (films and radio). His current project is documenting the history of the legendary Que Club, the centre of rave and dance culture in Birmingham that was located in the iconic Grade II* Methodist Central Hall. An exhibition about the Que Club opens on May 26th at the Medicine Gallery.