Stories from Balby brought to life

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Stories shared by the Balby community will be brought to life in three special events set to take place this month.

The project, commissioned by Right Up Our Street, has seen artists work with local residents to gather stories from the past, present and future.

The results can be seen first at the launch of the Hidden Exhibition at Balby Community Library next week Thursday 18th June at 6pm.

The launch will include readings of the poems by some of the community cast, live music and the premiere of a poem by local writer Mick Jenkinson “The Ballad of Balby Village”.

The launch is free to attend and the exhibition will be up for a number of weeks.

Carla Starkey, who runs Fifty6 Ninety6 Theatre, said: “We’ve been working in Balby since September 2014 talking to people and collecting their stories.

“We wanted to celebrate the ‘Unsung’ in Balby, unsung people, unsung places and unsung stories. This project celebrates those people and places in Balby that are making change now, in present-day 2015 Balby.”

The project’s final weekend will take place on June 27-28th across Balby and will feature installations, performances, poetry and storytelling.

On Saturday June 27, Balby Unsung will take place at Woodfield Social Club at 7pm with a 60s themed club night, live music, quiz, raffle, comedy and performance! Starring Steve Huison (Eddie Windass from Coronation Street and Lomper in The Full Monty)

“The evening of the 27th will be part performance, part comedy, part live music all compered by Steve Huison with Jill Myers and Sam Gannon, and a community cast. They will tell the stories of people who have passed through the clubs doors as well as events and attitudes we’ve uncovered. This is an over 16 night and will end with a boogie to some classic 60’s music by local band Strange Triangle,” added Carla.

Sunday June 28 will see Balby Unsung at St Catherine’s House, Woodfield Park with a theatre performance honouring the past, present and future of the house.

The project includes Director, Olwen May, Writer, Peter Spafford (who wrote Only Water Between), Designer, Moira Benoit, Photographer, Les Monaghan and a team of community photographers, Professional actors, Steve Huison (Saturday night only), Sam Gannon, Jill Myers and Chris Brailsford and 15 community cast members.

“Our day on the 28th June will comprise of two performances (repeated) of a brand new play written by Peter Spafford, at 12.30 and 14.30. It will be performed by professional actors Sam Gannon, Jill Myers and Chris Brailsford and a community cast. The play takes you around the house, where you will encounter some unsung stories of the unsung people connected to St Catherine’s House. It is an event for all the family,” said Carla.

Peter Spafford, writer in residence in Balby said: “To encounter the ‘unsung’ people and places in any community you have to spend some time there. As a team, we have met some extraordinary people in the course of this project; older people at coffee mornings, library users, children in schools, refugees at an education project, choirs, actors in a local panto, poets, writers, volunteers in social enterprise schemes, as well as other artists in the Right Up Our Street team, like musicians Janet Wood and Keith Angel and photographer Les Monaghan. Some of these people will be performing in the events alongside the three professional actors in the cast. Many of them will be present in the audience. Everyone who has contributed will be represented in some way, ‘sung’ in BALBY UNSUNG.”

To find out more about these free events visit

To find out more about the project visit