Punchdrunk Enrichment teamed up with Arcola Theatre’s Over 60s theatre group to create a unique theatrical experience in the heart of their community.

One of the great socio-realists of his time, Dickens wandered through London, documenting life by capturing the city’s everyday joys and tragedies in The Uncommercial Traveller. Inspired by this little-known collection of his journalistic writings, participants explored their local history and created characters based around the stories they discovered as well as the characters from Dickens’ own writing.

The idea originated in Dalston, London, where Arcola and Punchdrunk worked with local performers over the age of sixty, capturing stories from their experiences of living in the area to create an audio journey and an immersive performance in a disused shop. Audience members were invited into a Dickensian Self-Supporting Cooking Depot, to take a cup of soup, meet a character, and experience their tale.

“A little bit of a beautiful thing happening in east London…”

– Lyn Gardner, The Guardian

Creative Team

  • Directors

    Peter Higgin, Owen Calvert-Lyons & Jen Thomas

  • Designers

    Libby Altaras & Sean Turner

  • Sound & Graphic Design

    Stephen Dobbie

  • Lighting Designer

    David Salter

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  • Various pots, pans and old kitchen equipment on top of an old wooden cabinet in a dark room
    TUT The Uncommercial Traveller. Photo by Marco Pineal
  • A small wooden table with a hanging metal bucket in a dark room with a boarded-up window
    TUT The Uncommercial Traveller. Photo by Marco Pineal
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