>Walk Through Walls

>Another walls post … a more positive one.

We had the artworcs company AGM in Worcester today. After the official business was concluded I had a chance to experience Walk Through Walls (two audio-walks created by Kate Chapman and Charlotte Goodwin with original music from Nina West). The walks have an audio-accompaniment on an MP3 player. The music, documentary recollections and drama are edited together brilliantly.

The walk that tracks through the Diglis area of the city is particularly moving. It’s an old industrial area between canal and river – Worcester Porcelain was made here until recently. Now acres and acres are being developed as apartment blocks. The designs are … unambitious (think 70s student hall of residence), the standard of finish is adequate at best, and the history of the area is obliterated or cheaply pastiched. The testimonies and drama on the audio highlight this rape of the area for profit. The area needed to be redeveloped, but there’s no heart in this rush to generate investment ‘product’.

The other audio-walk (centred on Fort Royal Park and Wylds Lane) is more elegiac. The views from the Park take in the Malvern Hills and the (strangely over-polished) Cathedral. The rape of the 1960s – when four lane roads were driven through the medieval city dividing the centre from the Cathedral and riverside – is visible, but less immediate than the damage at Diglis.

Walk Through Walls was the fifth and final part of the 18 month long Worcester Pilgrim project (there was a production of new play, an artists’ books exhibition, an early music education project and the audio-walks). It’s been a demanding time for the company, but the work has been of a high quality. It was a long day, with the drive there and back, but well worth the trip to catch up with my fellow directors and to experience these walks.