Cage Street Memorial

We designed a theatre workshop production directed by Tim Hopkins at the Albany Theatre in April 2015. Cage Street Memorial, a piece about the life of Houston born Carleen Anderson, narrates her life story from early childhood to the present; from Houston Texas, to the UK. Having migrated and settled in London with her young son, she was embraced by the jazz scene of the 90s, where her art continued to evolve. Several jazz numbers in the production demonstrate the contrast between early and later life, taking the audience through the hardships and struggles early on to the opportunity and promise that followed. A play on scale influenced the set of this production, to evoke a childlike quality as Carleen relived childhood memories through song and script, whilst engaging with the set.

A key component was the church that symbolised Cage Street Memorial Church. A vessel of hope during difficult times, the church endured a lot, having burned down and been forced to relocate.

Constructed from a timber skeleton to a reduced scale, and covered with a tent-like material, it evoked a child-like naivety. The graphic print on the material included images from Carleen’s life, as well as key text on the roof; all of which was picked up on throughout the play with the live feed of the camera. The audience; seated in a congregation arrangement, were drawn in to the production by constructs such as the large projections flanking either side which interchanged between live feed and historic contextual imagery or footage.