The When Yesterday Was Young project has really opened my eyes when regarding local heritage. I already had some knowledge through “The Wind Road Boys” production but this was project broader and helped me connect with the show. This was not only a performance opportunity, as I participated in many workshops and visits in connection with Beamish Museum. The workshops were captivating, helping my understanding with physical artefacts. These workshops and visits also really helped me characterise and place myself in the shoes of our ancestors. Among these workshops, we learnt ‘Farewell Johnny Miner’. A genuine mining folk song with poignant lyrics which we sang with passion. This song was one of my favourite parts of the show and I felt proud to be showing off a local mining song.
Overall, performing in the WYWY show was quite simply amazing. No show was the same, with each audience reacting differently and even on the 15th show I still connected and felt the same emotion during “Benedictus”. The same passion in “Underneath the Banners” and the same solidarity in “Durham Lock Out as I did in the first show. I am very thankful that all of this was free to me and I look forward to see what the future holds for this project.