Sun Shall Rise

Image by Kevin Boorman

Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebration in Hastings

MSL Discover and Barefoot Opera organised a special pop-up street performance event called Sun Shall Rise, which took place on Saturday 4th June in Hastings town centre. There were two performances – in Robertson Street and Wellington Place. The new work was reprised on Sunday 26th June, at Hastings Sanctuary Festival.

Barefoot Opera’s, Lucy Mulgan, and writer, Rosanna Lowe, were commissioned to create a new celebratory choral work to celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. Barefoot Opera’s Choral Director, Jenny Miller, working with professional singer and workshop specialist, Lucy Mulgan, recruited a community choir in Hastings for the performance.

As part of the event we held a drop-in hat making workshop with Radiator Arts giving adults and children the opportunity to make a fantastic hat or crown for the occasion.

The performance resulted in an ambitious and innovative celebratory and community ‘moment’. It was a memorable occasion for all those who took part and gave impetus to our (MSL and Barefoot Opera) longer-term objectives. Choir participants learnt from exemplary professionals and developed skills and confidence in music and production.

Photos by David Marks, Sam Sharples and Sylvia Tolcher

Creative team:
Producer (MSL): Margaret Sheehy
Producer (Barefoot Opera) & Workshop Leader: Jenny Miller
Writer, Sun Shall Rise: Rosanna Lowe
Composer & Workshop Leader: Lucy Mulgan
Parade Designer & Leader: Jane Bruce
Puppet Maker: Rebecca Child

Soloist, Baritone: LEKIDDO
Soloist, Mezzo Soprano: Jenny Miller
Soloist, Soprano: Chiara Vinci
Bassist: Lucy Mulgan
Accordionist & Vocalist: Oscar Smith
Drummer: Liam Genockey
Queen Elizabeth II: Jane Caley

Flash mob singers:
Agness Clark; Alison Parr; David Marks; Gill Sutton; Glenda Harris; Jane Freund; Jayne Watkins; Jenny Carter; Johanna Bevan; Joyce McCartney; Judith Bevan; Laurelle Hughes; Lin Ireland; Margaret Trowell; Marjo Baars; Mark Manners; Michele Eaton; Paul Moon; Pearl Olsen; Richard Overton; Rosie Freund; Sarah Taylor; Shelagh Davis; Sylvia Tolcher; Teresa Madden.

Project Manager: Sophie Goldstone
Stage Manager: Johanna Carter
Project Engagement Co-ordinator (Barefoot Opera): Barbara Browning
Marketing: Dominika Hicks
Hat & Crown Workshop Facilitators: Mary Hooper & Debbie Antonowicz (Radiator Arts)
MSL is grateful to Beki Mann @ Sales from the Crypt (Queens Arcade), Festival of Sanctuary, Love Hastings & Steve Peak.

Queen Elizabeth II puppet at Hastings Old Town Carnival, MSL

The Queen Elizabeth II puppet head made another apperance, at the Hastings Old Town Carnival on Saturday 6th August, courtesy of Covehurst Bay Holiday Cottages. Here we have Jane Caley as the queen, with Wayne Miller as Prince Philip, Cath as her her lady-in-waiting and 6-year old Willow as a member of the Queen’s Guard, with June Pratley and Johanna Carter as two members of MI6. The puppet head was commissioned by MSL from Rebecca Child at Radiator Arts. Photo by Margaret Sheehy.

Both MSL and Barefoot Opera believe in the life affirming, mood-boosting power of the arts to make an impact on people’s lives. We want to enable participants of all backgrounds, and organisations, to know that they can develop skills, and have the opportunity to take part in new, inclusive performances alongside professionals. By encouraging people to take part we help to bring people together, building friendships and developing a sense of community by working towards a common goal.

Sun Shall Rise is another stage in an ambitious developing project, The Wild Horn Fair. Begun during the first lockdown in 2020 on Zoom, MSL has been working with Rosanna Lowe, production designer Jane Bruce, and researcher Julie Gidlow, with funding from the Arts Council, Hastings Council and the Trinity Triangle Heritage Action Zone to create a new community street performance for several towns across England in 2023-24. There will be a small-scale rural tour of this version later this year.

Sun Shall Rise celebrates the history of England and the reign of our present queen and provides us with the opportunity to promote a major community production to potential partners for presentation in 2023. The Wild Horn Fair is a celebration of the High Street and will explore the relationships between established order and disruptive carnival.

Sun Shall Rise is funded by Arts Council England’s Let’s Create Jubilee Fund, Sussex Community Foundation, Historic England, Trinity Triangle Hastings, Heart of Hastings, and East Sussex Arts Partnership.

This project has also been made possible by a grant from Localgiving and Postcode Society Trust, a grant-giving charity funded by players of People’s Postcode Lottery.

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