Community Performance of Strictly Balti
On Sunday 18th October Saikat brought Strictly Balti to Barton Hill Settlement (where Travelling Light HQ is based) for a community performance of Strictly Balti. Saikat and Travelling Light provided the show and Dhek Bhal, a local charity for the South Asian community in Bristol, catered with a curry feast. As Saikat was sharing his story, drawing our imagination to sights and sounds of Bangladesh, the smell of the curry being prepared by Dhek Bhal wafted into the hall; very atmospheric! While enjoying the meal, members of the audience also got the chance to chat to Saikat and share their thoughts on the show.
It was a wonderful evening where we welcomed many different groups from the local community to come together for a free and entertaining evening. Engaging with our local community is something that is very important to us at Travelling Light, we do this in a variety of ways with youth theatre and family storytelling but this was a way for older groups in the community who don’t usually engage with theatre to get the opportunity to. Our local community, Lawrence Hill, is among the 10% most deprived wards in England, where theatre is not always accessible. With this community performance our aim was to make it more so. One audience member said she never has the opportunity to go to the theatre but described Strictly Balti as "Absolutely brilliant! I am sure you are expressing feelings shared by so many! Performance 100% great”. Saikat’s story of a second generation immigrant ‘blending in’ is one that is particularly poignant to our local community where almost a third of people are not born in the UK. We are so glad therefore that the local community were able to gather, enjoy and appreciate this story that local residents described as "Inspiring", "a privilege", "captivating", "honest", "funny", "relatable" and "really emotional".