Urban Sprawl have produced eight in-House performances at the Crypt (We R Leeds, 2012, Snap Shot, The Great Crypt Review Show, Twisted, Installation, Scenes from Moonscape, Scenes from Spartacus) and brought eight Art House productions and street theatre pieces to the Crypt (Two Cities, The End, Plague, A Brief History of Madness, Hit Me! FYI, Wake Up! and Samba Project). We performed "The Homeless Menace" in Millennium Square (2005) as part of 75th Anniversary and performed for Leeds Mayor in St George's Church.
What the Sessions Consist of:
Music Sessions: arrive; sit in circle; sing songs (e.g. Carry on (J. J. Cale), The Boxer, Redemption Song, Greensleaves, The Passenger, Take away these chains); look at dynamics & harmony; introduce solo, duet or group parts; look at staging for performance; choreograph dance; perform (regularly in Social Area at dinner time).
Drama Sessions: arrive; physical and vocal warm ups; Soweto Freedom Song, Maori Haka, Ubuntu Circle; ice breaker games; trust exercises (very important!); discussion about group objective - what we're trying to achieve (currently re; Don Robins & foundation of St George's Crypt); improvisations based around source material; group improvisations based around source material; perform these to each other and offer critique.
Where we are Headed:
Urban Sprawl is simply unique. 'Combining warmth, friendship and close peer support with the exciting, formative experience of theatre, our client artists are empowered to reinvent themselves, their futures, and their aspirations. By working hard, researching, rehearsing, devising, improvising, learning lines (and a million other things!) and being part of a team, our client artists make forward strides which are nothing short of remarkable!
Since 2010 Urban Sprawl have delivered regular weekly music and drama sessions for clients at St George's Crypt, using song, dance, emotion and expression to pave the way for participants to develop and grow. Our use of achievable goals means that clients see the results of their work and receive the applause they deserve from audiences made up of their peers. It is a formula which works precisely because all our work is owned by the very people at whom it is targeted.
Our model of continuous provision provides a landmark for people whose lives are extremely difficult and chaotic. Because we are there every week come rain come snow our clients know when and where to find us. It means that engagement can take place even when clients face long periods of absence (life's unavoidable dramas) because when they come back, there we are!
11 years' practical experience of working with homeless people in Leeds, developing our pioneering message of art as facilitator for the most vulnerable and disadvantaged people in society, has given birth to a vision both compelling and beautiful and one which we hope will be taken up by many more to come!