Barking Nuns

Commissioned by the Barbican, London

Change Makers is part of the Barbican’s 2018 season, The Art of Change, which explores how the arts respond to, reflect and potentially effect change in the social and political landscape.

Complicité partnered with the Barbican and Sydney Russell School in Dagenham to produce Barking Nuns, a research project that looks at the role of women in religion, with a focus on Saint Ethelburga, the first female Abbess of Barking Abbey.

© Matthew Kaltenborn

“I’ve had the most wonderful experience I have ever had doing this project of Barking Nuns and I am so proud and honoured to be a part of this amazing show and to be able to work with the team of @Complicite & @BarbicanCentre !! An experience I will never forget. ”

Quote from a participant

Directed by Complicité Associate Joyce Henderson, we worked with 24 Year 10 Drama students who embarked on research sessions at Valence House for three weeks, followed by practical workshops to explore ways of theatricalising their research for the stage. Ancient music specialist Belinda Sykes from Joglaresa led a choir of school teachers for six weeks, who performed alongside the students at the Broadway Theatre, Barking.