Herts Year of Culture project shares stories of inspiring women in Dacorum

2020 was a year to celebrate culture and creativity

Tuesday, 26th January 2021, 3:55 pm
Updated Tuesday, 26th January 2021, 3:57 pm

Inspirational women in Dacorum have been celebrated in a new creative writing and film project, which was part of Herts Year of Culture 2020 (HYOC2020).

Dacorum Borough Council has been working in partnership with Pursued By A Bear Theatre Company on the project, which was for older adults (aged 60+) to celebrate women, past and present, as part of a series of short films called 'Nothing on Earth'.

The participants wrote stories about their own lives and the women that have inspired or influenced them. These stories were used to create a theatre piece for film called ‘How To Live’ based on these Dacorum stories.

Workshops were initially held for tenants in two Supported Housing Schemes in Tring and Hemel Hempstead and during the pandemic, the project was adapted for people to write and send in their memories and stories.

Councillor Julie Banks, member champion for Hertfordshire Year of Culture, said: “This project has been a valuable opportunity to engage our older residents creatively during the pandemic as well as celebrating their lives and stories.

"The film movingly tells the wonderful stories of our residents’ living past and the women who influenced them, which we hope will inspire others.”

Rosamunde Hutt, artistic director of Pursued by a Bear, said: “It has been an honour to hear so many vivid stories shared with generosity, wit and warmth by people with such full lives and memories.

How to Live - Cast and Composer
How to Live - Cast and Composer

"I am glad that, despite the situation we have found ourselves in, we are able to pay tribute to these contributors by presenting How to Live in this way.”

'How to Live' is performed by a cast which brings together actors from the previous films in the Nothing on Earth series of short films.

It was filmed over Zoom during the second lockdown in November in accordance with COVID restrictions.

‘How to Live’ is available to watch on Active Dacorum’s YouTube channel and on Dacorum Borough Council’s HYOC2020 webpage.

How to Live - Suzanne Ahmet

HYOC2020 celebrated a year of culture and creativity during 2020, showcasing and providing creative and cultural opportunities across Hertfordshire.

How To Live…Or The Trouble with Women was written by Anna Reynolds, directed by Rosamunde Hutt, edited by Grant Watson, with music composed by Helen Chadwick.

The film was performed by Suzanne Ahmet, Nia Davies, Chanel Glasgow, Géhane Strehler and Shalini Peiris.