- Date: 1 September 2009
- Artform: None
- Region: National
In 2008 we joined forces with the BBC to create Made in England, a project that celebrates English creativity.
Made in England explores the unique relationship between England, the place and its people, expressed through the arts and broadcast by the BBC across television, radio and online.
The scheme launched on St George's Day 2008 with pan regional BBC television broadcasts of commissioned arts documentaries, as well as specially written poems and prose. All showed artists using the English landscape as a source of inspiration. This commissioned work kick-started activity across the country, with the public being encouraged to submit material relating to their own experiences of England.
In 2009, the project was reinvigorated through a series of interactive projects developed with and broadcast on BBC local radio stations around the country. Each project was devised and led by an arts organisation, who created varying opportunities for local public involvement.
The Full English launched the 2009 programme, again on St George's Day, with Hoipolloi Theatre Company creating a tribute to Betjeman's Metroland. Actors surprised Bedfordshire commuters, performing promenade theatre onboard a train decked out with mementoes from 1930s England. The train pulled into St Pancras and was greeted by a 100-strong children's choir on the concourse, singing a new anthem for England. The anthem was composed and conducted by young English composer Sam Dunkley who worked with children from schools around St Pancras and Milton Keynes to find out what England meant to them.
A series of projects came to fruition across the country in the ensuing months, with lead artists or arts organisations enlisting local public participation and the outcome being broadcast either through regional television or radio, or online.
www.bbc.co.uk/madeinengland now lives on as a record of activity and a stimulus for future creativity, continuing to reveal what 'makes' England.