Between 2013 and 2015 Essex Cultural Diversity Project commissioned 7 artists or arts organisations to create new artwork, as part of our Creative Diversity Hubs project, which connected with and celebrated Essex communities.
Razed Roof is an inclusive performing arts group for people with and without disabilities and learning difficulties. Based at Harlow Playhouse, a company of up to forty participants work together for over six hours every week with the support of an experienced team of staff. The company is made up of adults with specific learning difficulties and disabilities and young people from mainstream education.
In 2014, Razed Roof was commissioned to create Flood – a new script from playwright Judith Johnson. Inspired by the 1953 flooding of Essex seaside resort Jaywick Sands, the work explored climate change and its impact on communities. The piece, written specifically for Razed Roof in response to the particular needs of the group, was performed to great acclaim in Essex and Suffolk during the Spring and summer of 2014.
The final piece toured to three diverse spaces including The Jerwood Space, Dance East; Thameside Theatre, Thurrock; and culminated in two final
outdoor presentations in Jaywick outside the Martello Tower. Razed Roof also delivered workshops to 2 special schools as well as a reminiscence event for local people to share their stories and meet the company.
The commission enabled Razed Roof to mount a new production and tour the work to areas where the company had not performed before, and therefore raising the profile of Razed Roof and their work.
“Its been brilliant, the touring has enabled us to think outside the box … We took the performance right into an area of Essex where this sort of work is so rarely seen. Had we had our show in a theatre venue, we would not have had those people come. Martello Tower is a heritage venue, so partnering with them, well we got an entirely new audience.” Annette Lidster, Razed Roof