Moving Roots

2019 -2021

Moving Roots is a project working with producers in Wigan, Peterborough, Medway, and East Cardiff to deliver co-created projects to generate positive social change. The project is devised and led by Battersea Arts Centre and is funded by Esmée Fairbairn Foundation and the Garfield Weston Foundation.

A poster for 'Rent Party': Three women dressed up and wearing sunglasses

Project Details

The Moving Roots network is a revolutionary project to deliver professional, co-created works, led by communities, sparking lasting social change in the areas where they live and work. It will support work that is intrinsically connected, and vital to, the place in which it is made, thanks to the practice of co-creation. It aims to prompt a shift in the fundamental nature of national touring – away from a model of patrician culture in which touring work is ‘served-up’, to one where the work itself is co-created in partnership with communities.

Co-creation is a collective approach which challenges old hierarchies, with communities taking the lead in new projects supported by charities, local councils, funders and arts organisations. The co-created projects will have live performance at their heart and will be a vehicle for local people to engage with their communities’ most pressing needs.

What is Co-creation?

Co-creation delegates leadership to participants and invites a wider range of voices, encouraging dialogue that continues beyond the immediate life of the project itself. It challenges hierarchies and gives people agency to shape the project, be the author of their stories, and make what they want to see in their hometown. The project works with artists as visionaries, skilled communicators and social provocateurs.

Our Manifesto:

We will not use jargon, and make sure language and process is clear and demystified.

The work will celebrate the people and place.

We must be receptive to gifts.

The work must be artistically excellent.

“Not about us, without us”.

The project will encourage people to be more active in their own lives/ community.

The project will enable people to blow up old narratives & practice new ones.

Where possible, support the onward progression of people; take them beyond volunteering and give access to paid work.

Dig deeper.

The project will make people feel differently.



“It isn’t about organisations ‘reaching out’ to people in underserved communities – it’s about bringing people together for a common creative purpose, as equal partners, as joint collaborators, as ‘co-creators’ in the deepest sense of the term. These ambitious new partnerships and ways of working have a simple idea at their heart: that it is possible for us all to achieve a fairer, more inclusive and more vibrant cultural future.”

Tarek Iskander, Artistic Director & CEO, Battersea Arts Centre


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Project News

Rent Party Medway

A second opportunity to watch Rent Party on demand this Autumn 2021.

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Not Home

Inspired by Rent Party’s focus on both community and co-creation, “NOT HOME” is a poetic legacy project by David Dykes, looking to explore our emotions and concerns around the UK’s housing crisis.

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Poetry and Cocreation

Is a poetry of co-creation possible? David Dykes investigates in his legacy project 'Not Home.'

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Rent Party Medway

Lyrici Arts and British choreographer Darren Pritchard are creating a digital theatrical show in Medway this summer! Featuring talent from Medway, and inspired by the style of rent parties, the co-created show will highlight local voices, hidden stories and fierce talent.

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A photo collage of 21 cast members for Rent Party.

Moving Roots Touring Network presents Darren Pritchard's Rent Party!

National cast of 21 showcases excellence of local, working class artists in Medway,
Peterborough, East Cardiff & Wigan.

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Medway Foodbank Logo

Medway Foodbank: From the past to the present

The historical Rent Parties which Darren Pritchard’s show is based on grew from hard economic times and the need for communities to come together in mutual support. Wanting to honour this legacy, 50% of the ticket sales from Lyrici Art’s Medway production will be donated to Medway Foodbank.

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Harlem rent parties with black people dancing

What were the Harlem Renaissance rent parties?

In racially strife 1920s America the Harlem Renaissance was an explosion of creativity in literature, music, theatre and the arts in general centred around the African-American community and the New York neighbourhood of Harlem in particular.

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What is Rent Party?

Inspired by the poetry of Langston Hughes and traditions of the 1920s Harlem Renaissance, “Rent Party” is an immersive performance installation bringing together the vibrant clashes of life in 21st-Century austerity Britain.

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A poster for Rent Party Medway with a cast of six performers

Season One: Rent Party 2021

Lyrici Arts and British choreographer Darren Pritchard are creating a digital theatrical show in Medway this summer! Featuring talent from Medway, and inspired by the style of rent parties, the co-created show will highlight local voices, hidden stories and fierce talent.

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Our local creative facilitator: David Dykes

David is a poet and arts producer who has lived and worked in Medway for the past four years. He has a passion for helping other artists achieve their goals and working and creating across mediums.

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Meet the stars of Rent Party 2021

We are delighted to share the cast of Rent Party with you.

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Colourful speech bubbles made up of cartoon people

What is Cocreation?

The arts world isn’t immune to buzzwords. Co-creation is something that has seen a resurgence in recent years, and with it the ideas of involvement, co-production, consultation and community engagement.

But what is co-creation, and why does it matter for responsible arts organisations?

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A warm welcome to our sounding board

In December 2020 we held a call out to look for local exceptional people to join our sounding board.

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A Medway practitioner holding up a hoop during an arts workshop with the local community

Local Creative Facilitator

Lyrici Arts is looking for an Local Creative Facilitator to join our team and support us on the delivery of our latest digital show ‘Rent Party.’ You will work with us to produce the show and will have the opportunity to create your own legacy project for Medway with seed funding of £2000!

DEADLINE: Midnight on Sunday 21st March 2021

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Two actors performing

Rent Party Casting Call

Lyrici Arts and Darren Pritchard are looking for five exceptional performers to star in a Medway remaking of one of his classic shows!

Do you have something to say about the world around you?

Do you have an interesting story to tell? We want to hear from you!

We are looking for five solo acts to be part of a digital theatre show, staged and filmed at GlassBox Theatre, Medway in June 2021.

DEADLINE: 17th March 2021 @ 5pm

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Three women sat at a table in a library

Moving Roots Sounding Board

MEDWAY! We are looking for exceptional people to join our sounding board. It's a paid role to help us shape & make opportunities happen here!

You might be a community leader, a passionate mum or dad, nan or grandad, you might be young or old, curious about the arts and theatre, or a social change warrior…. or simply looking for something new and different to do with your community.

DEADLINE: 13 January 2021 @ 5pm

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Supported By

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  • Colyer-Fergusson Charitable Trust Logo