Hello and welcome to The Community Centre! It’s a living, breathing entity. Based in the heart of the community, the centre opens its doors every day at 9am sharp(ish). As the doors open, we’re drawn into a tardis like super structure. The centre rocks, it’s alive with loud voices, raucous laughter and dominoes being slammed down triumphantly. Cheerful calypso music provides the soundtrack for this chaotic, crazy, communal comfort station.
The Community Centre is the lifeblood of downtown Manchester, the heart in a heartless place, where Windrush generation elders go to save money on their fuel bills and loafers skive off work.
This under resourced cultural melting pot is run by a power-hungry, opportunistic, Mugabe quoting African Receptionist. Using the reception as her soap box, her decrees and personal life are issued on the centre’s tannoy. Her dubious second in command is a white Rastafarian Caretaker who wears fake dreadlocks and worships Bob Marley. Not all rastas are from Jamaica. Robbie is from Fallowfield, a pleasant suburb of Manchester. Reggae music blasts throughout his mum's two up two down semi.
The show is a day in the life of the community centre and tomorrow will be another similar day for the regulars. But the 4 Caribbean pensioners have their world rocked by the Windrush scandal . They’re being asked to prove their citizenship, but wait a minute, they are British citizens aren’t they? Well no, not according to this Conservative government. They have to prove they’re citizens if they want to stay in the place they've called home for over half a century. The community centre lounge becomes headquarters for their ‘fight back’ group – The Windrush Warriors! Dominoes and knitting are put away. Battle lines are drawn and plans are plotted. Old Black lives certainly matter, allowing a hilarious capitalization on current global tensions - comedy rules are meant to be broken! It's a socially conscious dramedy which embraces untouchable subjects and speaks to current events.
A successful stage show with a great theatre track record since 2016, The Community Centre is ready to become an original TV comedy series. There is social commentary in there – but it's always chucklesome and the series shows that there can be comedy in crisis. The goal is simply to make people laugh.
There are six, 30 minute episodes ready to be filmed. The series is currently being considered for radio. Contact the show’s writer Nicola Gardner to discuss this production opportunity.