To those who live here “Come Yew In!” is a familiar Norfolk way of expressing welcome. When, in the 1970’s, the National Front called Norwich “The last bastion of white hope” they showed a distinct blindness to the fact that Norwich is a city whose long prosperity, culture and identity has been based on large scale migrations. We may not be the most obviously multi-cultural of places but we do have a vital and important history of welcome.
Come Yew In! A Proud History of Strangers in Norwich was a free, outdoor, city wide, trans-historical variety show that highlighted a selection of stories about incomers and invigorated a sense of pride on our tolerant, internationalist city.
Come Yew In! involved two months of citizen research, five weeks of intensive writing and creative responses, and three months of committed rehearsal with an army of Common Lot volunteers: 24 cast, five musicians, ten back stage team, 12 researchers and a professional production team of five.
We did ten shows in magnificent weather, touring to open spaces across the city.
In the process of the show’s making, we also enlisted the support of five primary schools who each contributed a short sketch or song, taking part in two shows each.
Winner of 2017 Norfolk Arts Awards – EDP People’s Choice for a large organisation. Ten shows, 747 participants, 3500 audience members, £7000 raised in donations.