The Lost Lending Library, Punchdrunk Enrichment’s immersive family experience set in a magical travelling library, has a limited run at the Bernie Grant Arts Centre, London from 13 December.
A feast for young imaginations and a celebration of books and the journeys they take us on, The Lost Lending Library is suitable for schools and family audiences with children aged 6-11 years of age. The family production, previously seen as part of the Coventry City of Culture 2021, unlocks a world of creative storytelling encouraging children to develop a love of reading that will last a lifetime.
At 314 floors high and with 78 spiral side departments, The Lost Lending Library houses the largest collection of books in the world, and visitors are invited to explore one of its many departments. Books of all sizes and colours are crammed together on its shelves, stories bursting into life from their covers. Look carefully and you might see a tree growing out of a book, and paper birds taking flight from the pages.
The Lost Lending Library travels from place to place for a very special reason. It goes where it knows it can find the most precious stories – those written by young people with great imaginations.
However, one department is in need of new stories. Can the audience help?
Past visitors to the library have enthused about the sheer excitement, awe, and wonder the experience has produced in young audiences giving them the confidence to write and tell their own stories.
Artistic Director and CEO of Punchdrunk Enrichment Peter Higgin is also co-writer and Executive Director of The Lost Lending Library. Peter is a founding member of Punchdrunk and was pivotal in establishing the company’s early work during their rise to critical acclaim and global success. In 2008 he founded Punchdrunk Enrichment and led the development of the company’s practice in community, family and educational settings and importantly uncovered and demonstrated a need for this type of intervention.
He said, ‘Punchdrunk Enrichment is excited to host The Lost Lending Library at The Bernie Grant Arts Centre. The arrival of the library brings the opportunity to reconnect our practice to Tottenham. The Lost Lending Library always travels to places where there are the greatest imaginations and the most unheard stories. Its arrival at Bernie Grant Arts Centre presents the opportunity to work with Hannah-Azieb Pool and her team to celebrate and champion stories from Black and underrepresented artists and communities.”
Bernie Grant Arts Centre CEO and Artistic Director, Hannah-Azieb Pool said: “Bernie Grant Arts Centre (BGAC) is delighted to host The Lost Lending Library, its commission here at BGAC builds on our mission of bringing world-class creative interventions to Tottenham and continues our commitment to inspiring a love of literature in our local young people. By including the performances as part of our new Pay What You Can model, we hope to make the astonishing work of Punchdrunk Enrichment accessible to so many more in our local community.”
Co-Writer and Director Alice Devlin is a creative lead on several Punchdrunk Enrichment projects and has worked with the company for 5 years both as a performer and director. She is passionate about making work that is accessible, and inclusive and that puts communities and young people first. She enjoys working with teachers to support their process and empower them in the delivery of creative work in the classroom. Coming from a background in physical theatre, she is interested in harnessing these principles of play when working with actors, creative partners, and teachers across our projects. Alice trained as an actor at Jacques Lecoq in Paris where she set up her own theatre company, Bric à Brac Theatre, who have toured work for both adults and families. She has extensive experience in facilitation and worked with the inclusive theatre company Haringey Shed for 2 years before setting up her own youth theatre, Hilarity Academy.