Photo by Steven Landles

A warm welcome in the North East for the Electric Fireside!Back to all

November 6th, 2015

Spennymoor - Electric Fireside Photo by Steven Landles

In just a week, Lumiere will return to Durham to transform the city into a brightly lit wonderland, and Durham city centre will be adorned with beautiful installations from far afield and close to home.

One particularly exciting installation this year comes in the form of the Electric Fireside. Produced by The Brick Box, this collaborative installation brings the magic of storytelling to Durham in an enchanting and experimental way. Run by Eleanor Barrett and Rosie Freeman, The Brick Box is an arts organisation that empowers people to take part in arts and cultural activity in under-used spaces. Both directors believe that everybody is creative and aim to find ways of supporting and facilitating this in safe, shared locations. Subsequently, they decided to create a way of gathering communities, generations and stories in a way that promoted creative expression, and so the Electric Fireside was born.

After appearances in Bradford and London, the Electric Fireside is now travelling to Durham to host the work of three very different local groups from the North East, based in Dawdon, Spennymoor and Wingate. Utilising the creativity and generosity of these groups, The Brick Box worked collectively to develop three distinctive evenings, built through a series of workshops. Each group recently hosted a mini ‘Fireside’ sharing event for family, friends and members of the local community ahead of them hosting the Electric Fireside at Lumiere.

So what did they get up to? What can we expect from their performances in Durham?


Enthusiastic and energetic young people from the Dawdon group chose to use a well-known party game as the skeleton of their performance. Stories and activities come and go from person to person in a flurry of neon, UV and glitter. Using make-up and costume, the group becomes a united tribe; with every individual connected through their stories, energy and experiences.


A large group of all ages joined The Brick Box at Spennymoor for an exciting evening filled with stories, songs and lots of laughter. They used words, costumes and props to create a night that merged an imaginary world with reality. At Lumiere, expect energy that will leave you bouncing and a rap that’s been passed through the generations!


Wingate used their shared and individual memories to create an evening of tradition, heritage and recollection that travelled the history of the area, its people and a few of its animals! Together, the members of the group weaved words and traditional crafts to build a feeling of belonging and community. Acclaiming and reclaiming their local history, Wingate will share their wit, warmth and wisdom with audiences, and there will be a special appearance from the infamous Wingate Coal Rat.

A celebration of the wonderful communities within County Durham, the Electric Fireside reignites longstanding stories and kindles fresh ones while bringing friends old and new together. Each night of the festival, a different group will host the activities, making every night completely unique. The groups will voyage to the loading bay at Lumiere in a specially designed lit up bus, ready to entertain and delight crowds with amazing stories, songs and much more, illuminating the dark Durham nights! Make sure you don’t miss it.

The Electric Fireside is supported by East Durham Area Action Partnership, Spennymoor Area Action Partnership and Suicide Safer Communities County Durham.




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