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Take home gold for getting through it all

Olympics of the Everyday is a new interactive show that deserves a medal. Douglas Blane reports

Olympics of the Everyday is a new interactive show that deserves a medal. Douglas Blane reports

Olympic athletes are admirable. But people do extraordinary things every day of their lives and never win a medal for them. Now, award- winning Scottish arts company Ankur, set up in 2004 to encourage dialogue between cultures, has launched a new production to celebrate the achievements of ordinary lives.

Olympics of the Everyday, a multi-media theatre, film and music installation at Glasgow's Bellahouston Leisure Centre, sees professional musicians, artists, choreographers and writers working with young performers from across the city, many of them refugees and asylum seekers. It runs to 12 August.

Audiences should expect the unexpected. The show is interactive, so they could find themselves being chased by paparazzi or awarded a medal for their efforts and achievements.

The production is visually appealing, says Ankur artistic director Shabina Aslam, with colourful props and costumes, stylised sportswear and oversized medals and podiums. "A lighting and design team has transformed the leisure centre spaces into a theatre of life, including red-carpet moments and roving reporters capturing your journey," she says.

Scripted by playwright Jodie Marshall, the narrative uses the framework of the Olympics - staged sporting events and medal awards ceremonies - to tell stories of life events that demand high levels of skill, stamina and determination. You could find yourself sitting on a bike in the spin room, not knowing what your pedalling might bring, or visiting a locker room containing not just personal items, but memories as well.

Artists taking part include beatboxer Bigg Taj, musician and sound designer Daniel Padden, dancer and choreographer Ruth Mills.

Previous successful youth projects from Ankur include Pangaa, which ran urban arts workshops with over 700 young people, leading to performances, a video and a promenade theatre production that reached the semi-finals of the National Lottery's Best Arts Project Award.

Ankur launched the Bellahouston show with a performance on trains and a parade of everyday achievements on the road to Hampden Park, for the crowds travelling to the Olympic football games, played there on Saturday 28 July.

"Everyday life can be hard at times and we deserve a medal for getting through it," says Shabina. "It's time to explore and celebrate what we achieve every day."

Glasgow-based Ankur Productions works with young people who would not normally be able to take part in youth theatre projects. It mounts professional theatre productions, music and literature events and runs a programme of workshops. Olympics of the Everyday, Bellahouston Leisure Centre, 9 to 12 August, 4pm, pound;2.50. Box Office: 0141 276 0767.

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