AN ambitious 24-hour programme of theatre, music, art installations and dialogue will explore Coventry’s links with faith.
Coventry City of Culture Trust and the Royal Shakespeare Company are working in collaboration with City Voices on Faith, which will see theatre productions taking place on the streets of the city, places of worship opening their doors to welcome visitors and faith leaders coming together to share food and discussion in Swanswell Park.
It is being directed by the RSC’s deputy artistic director Erica Whyman.
Faith – which takes place on Friday and Saturday September 10 and 11 – will also see theatre designer Tom Piper, famed for his poppy memorial at the Tower of London, Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red, create a visual representation of the existing ties and connections between the different faith groups.
Faith communities across Coventry will join together physically, with Coventry’s places of worship set to be tied together with Coventry blue ribbons, creating a temporary tapestry through the city.
Coventry-based composer Sayan Kent will compose an original score to accompany the whole project.
Faith will also include four promenade performances featuring a cast of professional actors, primarily from Coventry.
The event will culminate with a ceremony where people will be invited to gather at dusk in Millennium Square to light one of 500 flames to create a final tapestry of lights in the city centre and to take part in a unique pledge to walk forward together, in knowledge and in hope.
The narrative behind the event is that Faith has always been part of Coventry’s story. Yet how people – as world citizens – experience faith, both as individuals and as communities, manifests itself in different ways.
At its heart, Faith will explore what keeps people going in tough times, and how people of faith, and of non-religious world views, understand and celebrate the chapters and mysteries of life.
Representatives of the city’s diverse faith communities will take an active part in the Friday evening activities and in the ceremony of lights on the Saturday.
The experience will span 24 hours and will encompass a variety of events delivered live in the city and online.
Ms Whyman said: “Faith is a Coventry-wide invitation to celebrate this remarkable multi-faith city. Over the weekend, across the city and online, we will inspire conversations about what we each believe and what keeps us going in tough times.
“Chinonyerem Odimba and Chris O’Connell have written funny, insightful and moving plays about how faith really operates in our daily lives which will be performed with the city as our stage and our backdrop, leading to a powerful ceremony of light on Saturday evening in which everyone can take part.”
“As we come through one of the most testing times in our lifetimes, Faith is a moment to acknowledge our losses, see and respect our differences and celebrate our resilience as we find ways to go forward in hope. It has been made in close collaboration with representatives of the faith communities of Coventry, and it has been a privilege to witness close up the spirit of solidarity and optimism that continues to thrive in this city.”
Visit coventry2021.co.uk/ for further details.