Would you like to learn how to put up a shelf? Or cook Indian food? Perhaps you’d like to try stargazing or decorative blacksmithing? All these subjects and more are on the syllabus at a new college starting in a converted double decker bus in Holbeck.
Slung Low, Holbeck’s own theatre company, are embarking on a new venture. The Cultural Community College will bring back learning for learning sake, something that’s rapidly leaving mainstream education.
“To learn how to read the stars, to stare at the universe and understand your place in it is profound … and now that we have GPS, utterly useless” explains Alan Lane, the Slung Low’s Artistic Director.
You may think this has nothing to do with theatre, but Slung Low has previous, as anyone who has been to one of their How To … festivals, or joined the HUB Choir will tell you.
There are two drivers behind the College plan. Firstly the company’s own experience of learning new skills needed to put on shows.
“Last year we produced a water-based play called Flood as part of Hull’s City of Culture. We had to learn how to use a boat safely, how to abseil, how to fill in the right form for a licence. The extraordinary thing was the more we learned the more confident we got, but not just about the thing we learned.”
Their second reason for starting is the college is Slung Low’s mission to be ‘useful’ in the Holbeck community.
“Being useful is the most important thing to us, even before being good.”
With traditional evening classes disappearing Slung Low aim to fill a gap. Commercial cookery classes are £100 a day and more, but their vegetarian Indian food course, like all the courses will be ‘pay what you decide.’ What’s more it will be taught by award winning Manjit (of Manjit’s Kitchen).
The pay what you decide is an important principle for all activities at Slung Low’s HUB, under the viaduct arches on Bath Road. You book your place for free, go to the course or see the show and then decide on your way out what the experience was worth to you.
Slung Low leafleted every door in Holbeck last week ahead of the full launch to make sure residents could get the first choice on courses. Bookings are now open to everyone and you can find full details on the Slung Low website at: www.slunglow.org/holbeck
To celebrate the start of term, Slung Low invite you to a barn dance on Saturday 8 September from 7-10:30pm. Greensleeves Ceilidh Band will provide the music and call the dances so everyone can join in, plus there will be a £1 bar and food.
Slung Low is located at 67-71 Bath Road, Holbeck, LS11 9UA.