A performance piece about migration, home and the kindness of strangers

running time - 75 minutes. For further information contact info@schwa.space


THRESHOLD: SONGS AND STORIES OF HOSPITALITY came about through the interest of libraries through West Yorkshire and Kirklees.

A show about the meaning of hospitality and the kindness of strangers, THRESHOLD tells stories of home and migration and how we might react when we find ourselves in unfamiliar territory.  Using music, poetry, live sampling and verbatim testimony we wanted audiences to ponder how we find our place in the world. THRESHOLD was devised during the build-up to the UK Brexit referendum…

First produced in 2016, Threshold has made two successful tours funded by Arts Council England. Each show was preceded by hospitality - tea and/or sherry for all comers - and after every performance we invited the audience to remain with us for tea and cake (provided by the marvellous baker CAKE CAKESTRESS. We also invited every audience member to share their thoughts and experiences of hospitality by passing out index cards. After two tours, we collected these cards into a custom-made, handbound book, entitled THRESHOLD: Songs and Stories of Hospitality.

The Book

The stories and quotes that ended up in the book tell a very different tale than the referendum result: our tour took us to some of Yorkshire’s so-called ‘Brexit Heartlands’ and everywhere we went we met people with open hearts and active enthusiasm to welcome refugees, not only into the UK but directly into their own communities.

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Following the relief of finishing NOW WE ARE SCHWA, Richard was very keen to make another highly arranged studio recording. Peter had an idea for a suite of songs and stories about hospitality and it was really this combination of ambitions that led Schwa to Jacqui Wicks, who joined the group in 2015.

Richard was more interested in keeping his head down in the toy shop, and Jacqui is blessed with both a beautiful voice and a willingness to explore & experiment.

An ACE application gave us the space to develop the intended show, and the time to work on the songs that eventually went into the CD.