The Arches Worcester Festivals took empty shop fronts in Worcester’s city centre and brought them to life with playful and fun live performances in Same But Different.
Chapel Walk was host to international Hula Hoop performer Angie Mack, serving up the unexpected in the former Gourmet Burger Kitchen site. The high street took a surreal turn with 2Faced Dance’s Fox, Badger, Stag and Hare leaping and turning in the former Top Shop windows. Kitsch N Sync’s Lampshade Ladies and Udderly Jubbly surprised those looking up as they peered down from the first floor of the former DW Sports building.
The Pod at Crowngate became the stage for a digital adventure story, whilst Graduate Commission Matthew Rawcliffe blurred the lines between performance and reality as his work transformed an empty shop into “The Crisp Sandwich Café” throughout the day.
“Being awarded the shop front commission for Same But Different has helped me to build relationships and develop networks so that I can base myself in somewhere like Worcester, meaning that people don’t have to travel to bigger cities like London to experience great dance.” – Matthew Rawcliffe, Shop front Graduate Commission
“It was great to animate empty spaces in Worcester, filling them with creativity and wonder. Worcester has already seen some lovely artwork vinyls in shop windows and what we wanted to do was bring those shop fronts to life with live performance that is playful and just a little bit surreal. We enjoy creating moments for people to happen upon that are unexpected like dancing animals in what was a clothing store!” – David Edmunds, Festivals Director, Severn Arts
“High Streets around the country were already changing pre-pandemic. Same But Different has given us a glimpse of how culture can be used to help transform Worcester’s high street and at the same time open it up to wider audiences alongside independent and national retailers, restaurants and coffee shops.” – Laura Worsfold, CEO, Severn Arts