‘In their Shoes’ was a theatre production/workshop for schools exploring loving one’s neighbour and living together with difference. Jointly conceived by Christian theatre company Saltmine Trust and Muslim theatre company Ulfah Arts, it was performed in Birmingham primary schools.
In June 2012 St Peter’s Saltley Trust funded Saltmine Theatre Company and Ulfah Arts to take a production that encouraged getting on in spite of differences into Birmingham Primary Schools.
We were aware as the Olympics were approaching that hosting this event in the UK was a wonderful opportunity to bring home to children the amazing things that can happen when people of different cultures and nationalities come together. We also knew that a message of working together and benefiting from different views and cultures was a very important one to bring to Birmingham with its diverse population. So Saltmine (a Christian arts organisation) collaborated with Ulfah Arts (a Muslim organisation) to produce a 45 minute theatre show and a 45 minute workshop that explored this theme.
The children fully engaged with the play which explored the relationship between two groups of people – the Stripes and the Spots- and their journey to friendship. In the workshop the children asked interesting questions and came up with some brilliant ideas for how to work with and relate to those around them.
I believe that watching the collaboration of the actors with our varied backgrounds and cultures enabled the children to see what can be created when people work together and that this had a powerful effect on them. I was also impacted by this project which has enabled me to build many cross-cultural friendships. We are very grateful for the funding from the Saltley Trust, without which this project would not have been possible.