August felt like a bit of a difficult month to navigate – we had weather than didn’t really begin and a level of uncertainty that shook the – palm- trees.
That uncertainty was around how we would launch Sticky Floors & Palm Trees and how The Posh Club collaborate would work. Whilst we consulted, extensively (!) It was a stab in the dark about who we would interact with in this early version of the show and what this would mean for the direction of it.
The Posh Club
But that being said, The Posh Club at the beginning of the month was such a rip roaring success! Working with The Posh Club team we managed to SELL OUT 160 tickets full of amazing golden oldies coming for a good time! They loved the performance, they loved the environment and they loved the team. It was such a wonderful experience for Downtown to not only collaborate with a national organisation but also work with a brand-new community in the heart of Portsmouth!
Sticky Floors & Palm Trees
Our next operation coming off the high of The Posh Club was Sticky Floors – having arranged market stalls at Love Southsea Market, drop in events at The Portsmouth Museum and 1-1 interviews at New Theatre Royal Portsmouth, it became something that surpassed our expectations.
Nearly 300 likes on the page and over 30 stories were collected in August giving us a larger and nuanced view of the cultural and social scenes in Portsmouth during the 70’s, 80’s & 90’s.
Not only that but the setting up of our Sticky Floors facebook archive page took form very quickly with team member Tracie (once an 80’s clubber) uploading photos that, seemed to us, to go viral.
With nearly 300 organic likes it shows to us that the opportunity to talk about this is needed and bridging the intersection of Downtown Pompey and clubbing feels ‘fitting’.
Not just that but the preproduction team on the project, also feeling quite unsure at the beginning, meant that we spent a lot of time together and really formed what it meant to be a team through difficult circumstances (like the weather!) so, really, shows the value in uncertainty and the true understanding of queerness when your paving unique paths.
Keeping up with the Kommunity
Apart from Sticky Floors we ran a couple other community events, one for our community board, as we went out for pizza and did our best to balance a social and work (you can imagine which one became prevalent!) and hosted our first community picnic! Which was a resounding success. Thanks to the Portsmouth Library and particularly the HIVE for allowing us, last minute to use their space when the rain came down.
This interlude didn’t get in the way of the picnic with over 35 individuals from screaming toddlers to our middle-aged mums and included new faces and previous participants attending to have some sarnies, maize snacks and a catch up.
It is always great to see how Downtown can feel like a space where intergenerationally we can hold that space but also great to offer something back to participants rather than consistently asking them to ‘actively participate’ it was a simply a picnic… in a library. (very queer of us!)
You can check out the facebook archive page for Sticky Floors & Palm Trees