Same scenario than with Photo Communale, in March : not a soul in the streets, half an hour before the show starts… There is an official ceremony in one of the pubs in town, where the County Council’s and the Town’s elected members and Directors, Zap Art and the Arts Council heartily approve this successful partnership developed over the last 3 years to develop such a project. Nice surprise when we come out : people are here, waiting for the show to start.
Générik Vapeur wanted to officially give the ’photo communale’ taken in March 2011 to Newhaven and its people. Countdown from the audience, and Pierre Berthelot, the co-Director of the company, all blued-up, and Mayor of Newhaven Steve Saunders unveil the picture. People get closer, curious : ’Oh look, is it not Thingy here ?’, ’Look at this hair of mine !’.
And the show begins : the local Marching Band leads the audience towards the turning bridge. How many people are waiting along the West Quays ? Where do they all come from ? Local fishermen follow, with a drumming group and Lewes’ Bonfire Society aboard.
Then comes a strange army of blue men and women, each pulling an oil barrel, rock music in the background. Générik Vapeur’s team and a few volunteers go wild on the Bivouac walkabout along the Quays.
There’s a few pauses, to make way for the Newhaven choral, Drama group and local children’s art works. The show is for and by Newhaven people.
The walkabout goes past local pubs, packed, stops in front of the Hope Inn, at the end of the Quays (warm memories for most of the company artists, who spent a few ’brainstorming sessions’ there, back in winter). Spectators are not too sure what it’s all about, but they are enjoying what’s going on, as they know this artistic tornado is only here tonight.
Finale, in front of the forbidden beach and the Fort, from which a few volunteers and artists abseil down. Most people have followed this 2h15 journey till the end. Even the ferry, who in the middle of the show, had horned echoing the musicians, majestically leaves the harbour right at the end of the show. Symbol. Curtain. At least for tonight, because for a while, Newhaven will be talking about these blue men who transformed the town ans its people, at least for an evening…