‘Now just imagine the triumphant procession’ says the narrator in Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf, only here on this south London street there are no fictional animals (just real people) and it is the beginning of an adventure rather than the end. I was going to write about the theatre of the performance event but it is encapsulated in the theatre of the journey. Motorists double take at the large group of people moving like a shoal down the back streets of New Cross Gate. Distinguished men in suits being pushed along in wheelchairs, a young woman with a bicycle, people of all ages. There are people from just around the corner and people from far away: a dancer from Minneapolis, a writer from Bradford, musicians, poets, producers, a man pushing his mother.
It’s part of Entelechy’s The Deptford Project building long relationships with older people living in residential homes, uncovering and rekindling artistic skills and ambitions and once again journeying out into the world with a story, poem, a song or dance. On this Monday afternoon in September there are so many people sharing the conversation. Manley Court nursing home, Entelechy, The Ageing Well Fun Club, Freedom Studios in Bradford, Kairos Dance in Minneapolis, The Spitz Jazz collective: just a group of people moving with common purpose down the street.