Plays explore life in town

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A series of special radio plays exploring life in Lincolnshire for Lithuanians will be aired at a festival this summer.

The plays were written by a professional director with the help of the Boston Lithuanian Community Group.

They explore the experiences of a group of Latvians and Lithuanians, their journeys to England, the challenges they have faced since settling here and their hopes and dreams for the future.

Three of the works were commissioned as part of the Magna Carta Poets Laureate Lincolnshire Landscape project – a programme designed to explore the themes of freedom of speech, human rights and democracy as part of the celebrations for the 800th anniversary of the Magna Carta.

One member of the group, whose ages ranged from 15 to 60, was so inspired by the process they wrote their own play and it has been added to the series.

All four plays have been recorded, with the group performing the various parts themselves, and are now in post-production.

They will be aired online and as part of Festival800, a 10 day arts festival running from August 28 to September 6 across Lincoln.

The work has been created by Blueprint: Film, a multi-award winning film production company with studios in London and Lincoln, which specialises in commercial video, documentaries and charity films to live sports streaming & media production for live events.

Darren Bolton, the writer and director, who worked alongside the community to produce the plays, said the process had been ‘truly inspiring’.

“It was a challenging project for a number of reasons,” he said. “It took time to tease out the experiences and stories and then to get them into a dramatic format.

“Then we had to get the best acting performances out of the group too. They did a fantastic job given that English is not the first language for any of the group.

“But in the end the whole process was really rewarding. I feel really inspired and moved by their stories.”

The Poet Laureate project is directed and produced by Lincoln-based cultural solutions UK and funded by Arts Council England and Lincolnshire County Council.

The programme also commissioned new Magna Carta themed poems from Poets Laureate Carol Ann Duffy, National Poet for Wales Gillian Clarke and Queen’s Gold Medal for Poetry holder Imtiaz Dharker.