Patchwork Lives is a sensitive and charming production that combines beautiful songs, original composition and well-crafted story telling. In the intimate setting of the United Reform Church Blue Room, the duo ‘weave’ the tale of recluse hoarder Quilter (Imogen Joyce) and her strange but sweet ghost (Anna Sanderson) who together collect stories in their dilapidated home.
When a woman from the council arrives, following a series of complaints from the neighbours, Quilter is confronted with the prospect of losing her home and her stories for good. To relieve the tension, Quilter and her ghost punctuate their own troubles with tales of strong, inspiring women. The lives of Emily Davison, Emily Bronte and Grace Darling (to name a few) are recreated and retold with care and delight.
The performers interact with the cluttered space around them, creatively using an A-frame ladder and a collection of teddy bears to relive the stories events. Joyce is a warm performer, with lots of likeability and a real range to her performance. Her emotive singing was truly wonderful with the ability to convey both sorrow and peaceful joy in her range of lovely folk songs. Sanderson is a quirky and giving actress who provides a chirpy energy to the character of the ghost. Both Joyce and Sanderson shift seamlessly between the art forms including an elaborate mix of live and recorded music as well as projections.
However Patchwork Lives isn’t all teddies and singsongs, some of the stories are truly affecting and powerful…
Sian Dudley (Buxton Fringe reviewer).
As you can see, we got a lovely review from our first night at Buxton, along with a small, but perfectly formed audience, and we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. The reviewer is a Nottingham lass, and she said some nice things about that aspect of the show too, which is great, because we really want to help Nottingham feel proud of itself. It’s a fabulous place.
For me though, the review hit the nail on the head with the last line: “But there is something more universal in this piece and that is the urgent need to keep these stories alive, so that future generations may learn from their message.” That is exactly why we’re doing it.