The War Party: immersive promenade performance at Fulham Palace

I recently devised a biographical performance about Bishop Fisher, his wife Rosamund Fisher and their six sons and their challenge of supporting morale on the home front of London during the Second World War. The performance was titled The War Party and it was a sold-out immersive promenade performance commissioned by Fulham Palace for Museums at Night, London, May 15th 2015.

Directors Susana Forsberg, Marine Begault, Christine Boyd and myself devised the performance with an ensemble of eight adults and five children, focusing on the lives of the Fishers at one of the most intense moments of the Palace’s history. During 1939 and 1945 the Fishers converted part of the palace as a hospital for the wounded and homeless, experienced direct bombing on the gardens of the palace, and had a barrage balloon on site, tethered to the ground to try to prevent enemy aircraft flying too low. A team of twelve people were billeted on-site to look after the one balloon. Inspired by their hardships, our team devised an immersive promenade performance in the palace and the gardens, taking audiences to poignant moments of the Fisher’s lives, eventually finding safety in the walled garden.

I will leave the following photo set to take one through the delightful moments in what turned out to be a rich and enjoyable performance for both the ensemble and audience.

 

Claire French is a performance maker and researcher, specialising in multilingual, applied and autobiographical performance.