The Origin of Species - Tangram Theatre

Last week we had John Hinton, from Tangram Theatre, perform for our Silver Social audiences with his show ‘The Origin of Species’, a musical comedy about Charles Darwin.

We had over 100 people attend the performances during the week, which toured Ashill, Harling, Attleborough, Shipdham and Necton.

The performance was so well received, with lots of audience participation and had us all laughing as we attempted our best finch impressions. Cllr Lynda Turner, Chairman of Breckland Council, attended the event and commented how “The shows energy really brought the story of Darwin to life, with all of the characters played by the solo actor, John Hinton, wonderfully performed and incredibly funny. A truly fantastic event for the local community.”

It has been fantastic to see so many new faces this month and we hope to keep welcoming more people to our upcoming events.

Thank you so much John for visiting us and bringing lots of laughter and smiles to Breckland.


Beginners Letterpress Printing with Print to the People

September brought a new activity for Silver Social participants to try out, Beginners Letterpress Printing with Print to the People. The workshop toured our market town Library circuit to bring local residents together to learn a new skill, with a nice cuppa and cake to finish it all off.

We had Jo and Paul from Print to the People facilitating the workshop, they were fantastic and so full of knowledge. They began by giving us a brief history of Letterpress Printing and a short demonstration before we all got stuck in, creating our own unique prints to take home. There was lots of variety in what our participants created, from presents for the Grandchildren, to signs for the postman “Leave in Shirls Shed” and a lovely 70 year wedding commemoration. The options were endless and it really opened up conversation amongst everyone, sharing stories about their lives and loved ones (fur babies included).

Print to the People are back again in November for Christmas card making. All venues apart from Thetford are already fully booked so we look forward to seeing those of you who booked for another fun workshop. Thank you Jo and Paul for all of your help and expertise, we had such a great time and look forward to your return in November.


Desert Island Flicks - Spiltmilk Dance

Spiltmilk Dance returned this month to entertain Silver Social audiences with their fantastically funny show, Desert Island Flicks. The show toured Ashill, Harling, Attleborough, Shipdham and Necton and had everyone smiling, laughing, singing along and even getting involved as part of the props and special effects department.

Everyone knows that a good show isn’t complete without some popcorn and this show had plenty of it! Some for the audience, some for the performers and some even used for special effects such as rain for ‘Singing in the Rain’ and to portray The Don’s iconic jaw in ‘The Godfather’.

The show, very creatively, used contemporary dance to help portray 60 iconic movies in just 60 minutes, with Sarah & Adele playing all the parts and sometimes fighting over the same part, such as Judy Garland in the Wizard of Oz, so they both got to be her.

The soundtracks were switched and special effects “re-imagined” to create a very funny and highly engaging, mashed up movie marathon. Some standout moments included The Avengers set to the song ‘Do-Re-Mi’ from the Sound of Music, a John Travolta dance off, audience members getting to take part in the famous E.T. finger scene and the moment we realised Star Wars and Harry Potter share an awful lot of similarities. It was all very clever and so well received.

Thank you Sarah & Adele (Spiltmilk Dance) for the wonderful energy that you brought to Breckland and for leaving us all with big smiles on our faces. A big thank you also, to all of our volunteers that helped us this month and our wonderful Silver Social audience members.


Mosaic Magic with Maggie Campbell

This month we had Maggie Campbell return to the Silver Social with all of our Breckland libraries fully booked after the popularity of her last workshop in May. We had nearly 60 residents take part in the Mosaic Magic workshop in Thetford, Dereham, Swaffham Attleborough and Watton Libraries from July 15th-17th.

Maggie's Mosaic Magic Workshop introduced residents to a different method of mosaic making, which involved working in reverse onto a piece of clay which acted as the mould. Once the designs were complete, Maggie outlined them with some cardboard, filled it with plaster and once set, removed the cardboard and the clay to reveal the beautiful mosaics. This was a pleasant surprise after only being able to see the back of the designs. Many residents described the activity as "fun", "creative" and something new and enjoyable for them to try.

The Silver Social have enjoyed Maggie's workshops very much and would like to thank her for sharing her energy, talents and expertise with Breckland residents, giving them the opportunity to try something new. A big thank you also to the libraries at Thetford, Dereham, Swaffham, Attleborough and Watton for always being so welcoming.

If you attended Maggie's May workshop and need to collect your mosaics, we have left them with the library you created it in for you to collect.


Meet our new Silver Social Project Coordinator

Meet our new Silver Social Project Coordinator, Dominique.

Dominique has recently joined the team and you will be seeing her at all of the upcoming events.

Dominique has come to the UK all the way from Australia and her past career has been as a professional performer, mainly in dance.

She is really looking forward to all of the wonderful events coming up and to meeting you all at the next event soon.


Those Magnificent Men

The Silver Social audiences were thoroughly entertained by The Foundry Group at venues throughout Breckland from 3-7 June with shows taking place in Ashill, Harling, Attleborough, Shipdham and Necton.

In the centenary year we celebrated one of the greatest moments of aviation history - the first ever non-stop flight across the Atlantic. The Foundry Group are fantastic storytellers making innovative use of props to bring the tale to life. One attendees said ' I enjoyed it very much. Brilliant, Funny, informative and professional'


It's Volunteers' Week!

This week is Volunteers’ Week nationally, and a great opportunity for us to say thank you to our very own Silver Social Volunteers.  Our volunteers are an essential part of The Silver Social Project, promoting our programme of activities and events in their communities and helping events run smoothly on the day. 

We are looking for more people to volunteer as part of the project, so if you are interested in finding out more, visit our volunteering page to find about the roles we have on offer and watch the video below from Helen about her experience as a volunteer with us.

Licensed to Trill - the Opera Dudes

Silver Social audiences were thoroughly entertained by the wonderful Opera Dudes at venues throughout Breckland from 8-12 April, with almost 130 residents sharing the experience.

Using a unique blend of song and comedy, The Opera Dudes moved the audience to tears singing Mario Lanza and Il Divo classics and in turn had them roaring with laughter during Morecambe & Wise inspired comedy sketches and a performance of The Phantom of the Opera with a surprising twist!

Some residents were lucky enough to be serenaded! Other stand out moments included a rendition of Bizet's ‘The Pearl Fishers,’ a Rachmaninov piano solo and a sing-along to Dean Martin’s ‘That’s Amore.’

A huge thank you to the Opera Dudes and all who attended for making it such an enjoyable week!


A Little Bit of Light with Glass House Dance

Earlier this week residents took part in Glass House Dance’s ‘A Little Bit of Light’ workshop at libraries throughout the district. These workshops were designed to take residents on an enchanting and gentle voyage of dancing, inspired by things lost and found.

Sarah and Laura from Glass House Dance introduced the workshops by opening a series of boxes that had been found in their attic. Each item found in the boxes led to a game or gentle dance for the group to take part in. Within the first box, a model of the Cutty Sark was found and the group embarked on a seafaring journey of dance which included singalongs, light/silhouette projections of an under-the-sea theme and games. The final box held Hawaiian grass skirts and garlands which led to fun, free-style dance that was enjoyed by all.

The Silver Social had a fantastic time sharing this experience with Breckland residents and would like to thank Glass House Dance for this wonderfully inclusive workshop and also to thank the libraries in Thetford, Dereham, Swaffham, Attleborough and Watton for being part of the show!


Award-winning cabaret star - Mat Ricardo

Award-winning cabaret star Mat Ricardo entertained over 60 residents whilst touring Ashill, Necton, Harling, Attleborough, Shipdham and Necton from 4-8 Feb with the Silver Social.

The show opened with Mat Ricardo balancing a small table on his forehead, complete with a china cup and saucer on top! The gentleman juggler wowed us with his tricks which included juggling cigar boxes and ten-pin bowling balls! He also performed a daring spine-tingling trick called the neck crane.

We were on the edge of our seats whilst Mat balanced objects on a knifes-edge. At moments, we couldn't believe our eyes. At the end of the show Mat performed his famous ‘tablecloth trick’ removing a tablecloth (and putting it back) from a fully laid table, without any broken crockery in sight :)

We shared a wonderful week full of laughter and surprise. We would like to thank everyone who came along, despite the cold and wet weather. And also, thank you to Mat Ricardo for putting on such a brilliant show in Breckland’s community venues.