From bingo to sumo, aerobics to a Johnny Cash tribute act, the Oasis Social Club is coming to Hull’s Orchard Park Estate, hosted by Donna Plagg. Four days of fun, entertainment, art workshops and more, all programmed in conjunction with local groups and residents.
Platform three, Preston railway station
The Oasis Social Club came to platform three of Preston Railway Station with a packed programme of activities and entertainment. From book-binding, historical tours, political cardboard sumo (with our Mags), DVT-prevention classes (with our Trace), and protest-banner making, the aim was to get people passing through the station to get involved.
Each evening began with Denise's Bingo, followed every night by something new – Andy Smith's play with Fuel Theatre, 'Preston Bill', to an LGBTQ evening (screening the amazing documentary Save The Tavern), a night of live music or Industraoke! Our Manifesto was read by Denise, over the station's tannoy.
Photographs by Matt Grayson.
Throughout May 2015, Rebecca Davies worked with Stoke locals to form a committee made up of individuals from across the city. Together, they established an eclectic programme of discussion, arts performance and entertainment to take place at the Oasis Social Club in June.
This featured a day commemorating the Battle of Orgreave Anniversary, with special guests including the Women Against Pit Closures and a film screening of We Are Not Defeated. A night of Northern Soul and a day of learning to grow your own (DIYD! OR Do It Yourself Duck!) were also part of the jam-packed programme.
The host at the Oasis Social Club in Stoke-On-Trent is Barb Foreshaw, a Stokey woman played by Davies, whose look, name, story and smell has been directed by the people of Stoke. Davies is now working with Stoke council to find a permanent site for a community centre.
(Photographs of The Oasis Social Club by Felicity Crawshaw)
In the run-up to presenting at the European Capital of Culture, Rebecca Davies and her team developed a series of works, events and characters which now form the performance framework for The Oasis Social Club. Rebecca also created a programme of workshops and activities, specifically for families and young people.
“I loved it; the characters, the club style and the empowering atmosphere that Rebecca Davies is able to create. The Oasis Social Club team made one of the best programmes of the Ailleurs en Folie, balancing artistic excellence with fun and inclusiveness with provocation.
This work brought in a mix of audiences and helped us create new relationships with locals residents.”
Anne André, Director of le manège.mon/Maison Folie.
The project was produced by Artsadmin and made in collaboration with Bethnal Green Working Men's Club.
Portraits for stories
Portraits for Stories was developed as a response to the consultation process for The Oasis Social Club. Rebecca Davies embarks on an exchange with local people, swapping her distinctive portraits for stories and memories that teach her about the city. More effective than a traditional workshop, the stories shared form the base on which Davies uses to create the character-host for each location, and the seeds to start the programme. These exchanges happen in public spaces, like parks and street benches, often with a plate of biscuits to sweeten the deal.