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Cat on the Road

Shape Training

Cat On The Road was developed in partnership with Shape Training and Middlesbrough Theatre Junior Players.

Beginning with a series of introductory arts workshops at the Shape Life-Skills Centre in North Ormesby, a group of trainees worked with poet, Dougie Pincott to break down preconceptions and their reluctance towards the written word through wordplay and rap.

Other introductory workshops were led in installation and visual arts by Adrian Moule, in digital design with James Cianciaruso, and sessions with director Jack McBride. The main body of workshops was facilitated by set designer Pam Guest, who worked with the group over 16 weeks to design and construct a mobile set for two plays to be performed at Edinburgh Fringe Festival in August 2001.

The key aims of the project for the Shape Life-Skills trainees were:

  • To give young people a chance to be creative.
  • To design a kitchen set for the plays.
  • To explore creativity with words and interpret the script in different mediums and materials.
  • To give an insight into the workings of theatre design and construction.
  • To encourage teamwork and communication.
  • To work with local artists.

The project involved a guided tour of Middlesbrough Theatre, including back stage areas and an explanation on how the theatre was run, a second visit to the theatre to work on the sets within a staged environment, a visit to The Cleveland College of Art and Design final exhibition for the B.A in Set Design, and to culminate the project three Trainees, accompanied by support staff, visited Edinburgh Festival in August 2001 to see the two plays performed.

I feel the experience has been useful to some of the young people and maybe a little tedious to others. Some of the young people are obviously interested in art and the end result. As the project nears its end I feel they are interested in how its all going to come together and look.

– Pam Guest