Life after Camp
Merely hours after taking down the tinsel curtains at Dick Collins Hall I find myself feeling 'is that it then?' - this is what we call in the business as post show comedown.
I've spent the last three months negotiating spreadsheets, convincing locals, promoting, producing, fundraising and doing whatever else needed with my gang of merry weirdos to get Camp (on the Estate) to happen - suddenly its all over. Usually I would feel sorry for myself but this time I'm left feeling sorry for my neighbours.
After the show on Friday night a gang of the local Mum's approached me, one told me 'you made things funny about what we talk about every day, like HS2 and that' another asked me if I would come back the following week to do it all again. On Saturday night a Mum told me I had 'cheered up' the whole estate and one audience member told me she'd lived on the estate for 20 years and never been to anything like this. Every night I watched my neighbours do the conga with theatre types, artists and kids with haircuts. Packing the show away made me understand my commitment to this plot of land in central London isn't just for Christmas... its for life.
After selling off most of their social housing in the 90's Camden council have run out of ideas on where to put everyone. They want to demolish the Dick Collins Hall because they can't idenifty a value for community spirt. A 2 bedroom house has worth in Camden's eyes but how do you value the Over 60's social club, Monday night pool for under 18's, Saturday morning majorettes classes for local kids, the residents bingo and OAP disco on Wednesdays? It doesn't have a physical valve but what its worth to this community is far greater than pounds and pence.
Camden are currently using the High Speed 2 expansion and their need for social homes as their reason to needing to build a couple of flats on top of it - if we demolish the Dick Collins Hall we kill off a community and replace it with a people living on top of each other.
With this in my mind and a fire in my belly I am now nominating myself as the official pain in the arse. I've been asked to join the committee, I want to work with them to do everything in my power to help save the Dick Collins from closure.