An “all night vigil and 24 hour pilgrimage around Liverpool” will ‘reawaken’ the Unity Theatre – among many other happenings along the way – as part of The Handless Project: Journey, an ambitious new theatrical piece by artist Aleasha Chaunté, beginning on May 19.
The work, “pushing the boundaries of theatre and performance”, as it is described, is inspired by the fairytale of The Handless Maiden, where a father cuts off his daughter’s hands to save himself from a bad deal.
Chaunté is inviting members of the public to join her as she leaves the Unity Theatre at dawn, to walk with her and two collaborators, Vicci Riley and Joanne Tremarco, until 2am the next morning.
Along the way she will be visiting places around Liverpool, marking them with small rituals and performances – singing songs, telling stories or building temporary markers.
Birmingham-born Chaunté, who studied theatre at Goldsmiths College, said: “This is about personal landmarks, so we will honour the places that are meaningful to individuals who we have met during the development of the piece, be they ordinary houses, park benches and swings or a workplace that is no longer there.”
Ahead of the 24 hour walk, as part of Liverpool Light Night and the Unity’s reopening celebrations following the refurb it has undergone this year, Chaunté will lead a procession starting at Liverpool Cathedral and moving along the short route to the Hope Place venue.
On arrival, she will awaken the ‘sleeping’ building (which has been closed since January for an £845,000 redevelopment project), with ritual and light. She and 20 participants will then retire to one of the Unity’s performance spaces until dawn (around 4am), to prepare for the pilgrimage, which will end in the early hours of Sunday morning.
The full details and route are still under wraps, but there will be opportunities for members of the public to join the route at various points around the city, and to share meals and celebrate at a closing party at a secret location until 2am on Sunday, May 21.
There will be information and updates at www.thehandlessproject.com, where full details will be released over the coming weeks.
Follow @handlessproject on Twitter and Facebook, and @thehandlessproject on Instagram, and you won’t miss a thing.