This stunning large-scale outdoor movement and dance-based production features a cast of over 100 performers, breath-taking visuals projected onto the walls of Rochester Castle, original new music and spoken word.

In Icon’s signature style, the production will be created and performed by professional theatre-makers alongside a collective of residents including community groups, local schools and young people supported by Icon Theatre’s Theatre31 programme.

Influenced by the sweeping changes worldwide that have been unleashed through the response to Covid-19, If Not Now will give voice to local stories and explore how communities can come together to challenge and transform poverty, prejudice, and the climate crisis, and look at historical moments which have launched extraordinary social change, including the establishment of the NHS and welfare state.

The show is free to attend as part of Medway Light Nights, a free spectacular festival of light that will transform Rochester’s iconic buildings and spaces into works of art.

If Not Now is an Icon Theatre, Medway Council and Theatre31 co-commission.

Cast and Creative Team

Director: Nancy Hirst and the community ensemble
Choreographer: Jon Beney
Projection Content Creators: NOVAK
Composer: Darren Clark
Set and Costume Designer: Sarah Booth
Lighting Designer: Dan Terry for Creative Spark
Music Director: Tania Holland Williams for Fat Lady Opera
Theatre31 Youth Theatre Director: Lily Vincent-Frankland
Assistant Choreographer: Harriet Parker-Beldeau
Video Content Artist: Josh Barnes
Costume Supervisor: Evelien Coleman

Dancers
Ayesha Fazal
Cher Nicolette Ho
Ena Yamaguchi
Patrick Ross Webster

Performers
Jade-Ashleigh Jeffery
David King-Yombo

Groups involved
Theatre31
Icon’s Community Chorus
Fat Lady Opera Community Chorus
Square Pegs Arts
Upside Down Dance Academy
Victory Academy, Chatham
Brompton Academy, Gillingham
Byron Primary School, Gillingham
Warren Wood Primary School, Rochester

More to be announced.

Location

Rochester Castle, Castle Hill, Rochester ME1 1SW

‘It has been lifechanging. Lady Unchained has helped get my life changed, I’ve started to look for opportunities on the outside, and see that there is life after prison.’
— Young Artist, Cookham Wood Young People’s Theatre Programme
78% of the participating young people said they were more confident and had more friends as a result of the project
— Six Ways To Wellbeing, young people's wellbeing project
‘Icon Theatre has given me new friends, taught me new skills and challenged my lack of self-belief’
— Community Performer
★★★★ ‘A sharp, impeccably performed and blazingly impassioned piece of theatre…simply terrific.’
— The Times
★★★★ ‘It is easy to take for granted the acting skills of a top theatre company. But when actors embody characters as superbly as this, you can’t help but notice.’
— The New Statesman

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