More than 100 Poole residents have come together to put on the town’s first ever community play, SALT.

SALT, set in Poole between 1681 and present day, follows a group of fishermen who are preparing to leave on a treacherous journey across hostile shores to fish cod, but this time a group of brave women join them on the adventure.

The production, which has been supported by a generous £15,000 grant from Talbot Village Trust, is created by Angel Exit Theatre and produced by Lighthouse.

The play will be performed in the Concert Hall at Poole Lighthouse from Thursday 27 – Sunday 30 July 2023 and there will be exciting pop-up outdoor performances around the Quay and High Street on Friday 28 and Saturday 29.

SALT is a play about Poole, set in Poole, performed by people from Poole, and will be showcased at Lighthouse in the heart of Poole.

The production has gained momentum following the efforts of BCP Council’s Poole Heritage Action Zone (HAZ) campaign, which launched in 2020.

HAZ has helped to make Poole’s town centre more attractive for residents, businesses and vendors, with one of its objectives being to improve community togetherness, showcased through the development of SALT.

The £1.25 million government backed improvement plan has helped to support various conservation-led regeneration projects that are helping to reshape and repurpose Poole’s High Street.

Poole’s rich history is also emphasised throughout SALT, a quality which HAZ has utilised in order to improve the economic performance of the region.

Following its success, the HAZ project is scheduled to come to an end in 2024.

Discussing SALT, Elspeth McBain, Chief Executive Officer at Lighthouse, said:

“We have not just pulled together a production, we have pulled together a community and it has been an amazing thing to see everyone come together and bring this play to fruition.”

Caroline Peach, Design and Heritage Manager at BCP Council, continued:

“Working on SALT has been a real pleasure and would not have been possible without the passion and commitment of local people from Poole.

“We are really excited for performances to begin in late July and we urge people to make the effort to travel to Lighthouse, not only for an evening of real entertainment, but also to celebrate the positive impact of this play on Poole and its community.”

Simon Boase, Cultural Programmes Manager at Historic England, stated:

“We are so excited about SALT. It promises to be a brilliant exploration of why it’s so important to connect with the places we live and we are very proud to fund this unique celebration of Poole’s story through the HAZ project.”

Councillor Andy Martin, Portfolio Holder for Customer, Communications and Culture, added:

“The production of SALT goes to show how close Poole’s community has become, and how engagement with local projects has increased in recent years.

“Poole is an area of real beauty, history and promise which deserves to be celebrated. It is hugely positive to see the profound impact BCP Council’s HAZ project has had on the area, and it will be very interesting to see what else Poole and its community achieve in the future.”

Tickets, which are already selling fast, start from £15.00 for adults and £10.00 for children under 18. Visit the Lighthouse website to purchase tickets and for more information.

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