The Flame! ‘Gasworks’ museum is in Carrickfergus. Not that long ago, it an essential industrial gem and Ireland’s only preserved Victorian gasworks http://www.flamegasworks.co.uk/concrete/
In partnership with Mid & East Antrim BC, we devised a performance which explored the stories and human journeys behind the facts of this amazing place.
Audiences were immersed in 40 minutes of history, a 19th century board meeting, a funeral, a strike, a game show (?!) and an atmospheric finale beside the famous gas retorts. Quite the show! The response from audiences was hugely positive. They thoroughly enjoyed the entertainment, but also discovered the history and stories of the site.
This kind of site specific theatre has so many benefits – attracting new visitors, creating new ways of sharing heritage, and animating the location and staff and volunteers, who experience a new way of looking at their site and different ways to engage visitors.
The Carrickfergus Gasworks piece was the final in a series of productions celebrating the industrial heritage of the North Antrim coast. It was a great week spent with the staff and volunteers there, and brilliant audience reactions. We are constantly reminded how rich and broad NI heritage is. We felt privileged and proud to be part of it. And a welcome return to Carrickfergus.