Is this a Waste Land?

by Charlotte Spencer in Brighton, England, United Kingdom

Is this a Waste Land?
We did it
On 29th November 2016 we successfully raised £4,033 with 63 supporters in 28 days

We're making a new head-phoned, participatory live performance for disused urban spaces which offers new ways of being together.

by Charlotte Spencer in Brighton, England, United Kingdom

New stretch target

With this extra money our budget will be running less to the wire! It will mean that we'll be able to cover any unexpected emergency costs without so much stress or chaos. THANK YOU for giving generously.

CHARLOTTE SPENCER PROJECTS draws together a broad range of exceptional artists from the fields of choreography, dance, music, visual art, writing and the environment. Working since 2009 we have had our work presented in parks, galleries, beaches, and forests as well as theatres.

“This walk in the park was hands-down, feet-down the most magical dance event of my year’ David Jays, Dancing Times about Walking Stories in Dance Umbrella, 2015

What makes us feel like we belong?
What is happening to our shared spaces and our communities?
How do we decide what a piece of land is worth?

These questions form the backdrop for a new participatory outdoor performance that we are currently making designed for disused urban spaces, 6 performers and up to 80 audience members. We started working on Is this A Waste Land? in 2014. We have been through a detailed research process and this summer we started to create the show. There are sound worlds in headphones, long bamboo poles, a large white sail, loads of ropes and much much more.

The good news is that we will go into the final rehearsal phase next Spring and the first performances are in April 2017. The challenge is that we don’t have quite enough money to make it happen without your help!

Is this a Waste Land? is part live performance, part interactive audio. This delicate performance reflects on the complex, contradictory, overwhelming and often confusing world we live in today. 

Have a look at a short video from our research period:

We are not yet able to publicly announce the performance dates and locations. But we are really excited by who we are working with and where the final performances are happening. We will be in unusual spaces in Corby, Glasgow, London with more places in the cooking pot!

The wonderful team of artists working with us are Ben Ash, Louise Tanoto, Petra Söör, Ben McEwan, Kirsty Arnold, Jennifer-Lynn Crawford, James Keane, Tom Spencer and Gian Paolo Cottino. (Kip Johnson and Neil Callaghan contributed to the research).  

Alongside the performances we are planning a series of talks, curated events, discussions and workshops in lots of different contexts around the themes of belonging & home; space & value. 

Your money will be helping to pay the artists decently for their time and expertise, our wonderful producer Keren Kossow to do her tireless work making it all happen, planning and delivering the talks and workshops, covering the costs of accommodation and travel, purchasing good quality wireless headphones to give our audiences the best possible experience, contribute towards the ongoing costs of insurance, administration, marketing, publicity, costumes, props, van hire etc.

Creating this work is expensive. To give you an idea:

  • One week on the road costs us about £13,000 in artist fees, production team, accommodation, travel, food, van hire, insurance, administration etc.
  • Purchasing 100 pairs of wireless headsets, transmitters, batteries and storage costs £4,000

We work as efficiently as possible. We try not to waste anything and focus on money being spent directly on the art. We are hugely grateful for every contribution, and we hope you agree with our decision to spend all of your generous donations making the art happen rather than buying rewards.

We are lucky to have lots of support secured already - the project has been commissioned by Deep Roots Tall Trees who are running Our Woods, Corby where the first performances will be taking place. We have also received support from South East Dance, Greenwich Dance, Forestry Commission, Pavilion Dance South West, and Patrons of Charlotte Spencer Projects. Our research period and the work we did this summer was supported by Arts Council England through National Lottery Funding.

We are aiming to raise £4000  through this crowdfunding campaign which is the minimum we need to make the project happen. Feel free to donate generously!

Is this a Waste Land? is an ambitious project technically, artistically and politically. With your help, we can do extraordinary things, hopefully changing the way in which we see and experience the world around us. Without your generosity, we simply could not do this work.

We'd love you to be part of this journey with us by donating, joining a performance, a talk or a workshop.


Our work rises from the landscape and is often designed for outdoor public spaces. Through each artistic project we strive to build community and instigate change by inviting people to re-encounter themselves in relationship to their lives and their environment.

Our last work, Walking Stories, an audio walk for parks, was created in 2013. It now exists in English, French and Portuguese and continues to tour. ‘A treasure hunt danced through the trees’ ★★★★ The Guardian 2015


all images by Pari Naderi

This project has been approved for funding through the Artists + The Crowd match funding. If this project reaches 75% of its initial target it will automatically receive the final 25% from Arts Council England.


This project offers rewards in return for your donation.

£10 or more

£10 Reward

THANK YOU! £10 covers 3 pairs of protective gloves for audience members. We need 90!

£25 or more

£25 Reward

DEEP FELT THANK YOU! £25 covers 2 long bamboo poles out of 30

£50 or more

£50 Reward

HUGE THANK YOU! £50 covers one return train fare to Corby from London for our rehearsals

£100 or more

£100 Reward

MASSIVE THANK YOU! £100 covers the cost of 3 pairs of wireless headphones

£150 or more

£150 Reward

BLIMEY! THANK YOU! £150 covers the cost of one artist planning and delivering one workshop

£250 or more

£250 Reward

GOSH! THANK YOU! £250 covers the cost of food for 10 artists for a week of rehearsals. (We’re in self-catered houses not hotels and we cook our own food together!)

£600 or more

£600 Reward

WOWZERS! THANK YOU! £600 covers one week of rehearsal fees for one collaborating artist

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