Penny Woolcock

30 Sep - 01 Oct 2006

The Margate Exodus
30 September - 1 October 2006

Processions, performances, plagues, speeches and song will dramatically transform Margate into a contemporary setting for an epic story inspired by the Old Testament book of Exodus. A weekend of live events on Saturday 30 September and Sunday 1 October will take place in the Dreamland funfair, along the beach and through the streets. Margate will come alive with a fiesta reminiscent of those in southern Europe; colourful, rich and passionate and infused with a carnival atmosphere.

Written and directed by Penny Woolcock for Artangel, the story of Exodus will be told for the present day. There will be a two day Live Event and an eight week filming period which will produce a feature film for the cinema and for broadcast on Channel 4 in 2007. People from Margate and the Isle of Thanet will be cast for both the film and events, in leading roles as well as extras, and many more local people will be involved in creating the decor, making costumes and set-building and painting. An Exodus HQ is open to the public as an information point and recruitment centre on the town's High Street.

Exodus is an ancient and compelling story about identity, migration and great movements of peoples across the world in search of a Promised Land. The story of migration is the story of humanity and the quest for social equality and tolerance has never been more pertinent. Exodus is produced by Artangel in association with Creative Partnerships Kent/Arts Council England.

Scenes from the Exodus weekend are integral to the finished film whilst others are linked thematically. Filming will take place at various sites including the Dreamland funfair and the beach. International artists and musicians involved in the project include Antony Gormley who will work with local people to create a giant sculptural Waste Man, standing twenty metres high and filled with rubbish and waste materials. A cycle of Plague Songs written by leading song-writers including Rufus Wainwright, Brian Eno and Scott Walker will be performed by local singers and musicians.

Margate is a place of great natural beauty. It is also a struggling seaside resort with a diverse population. Nearby Dover is one of the main entry points for asylum seekers and illegal immigrants, making the area a natural place to explore issues of identity, tolerance and social equality.

Tags: Antony Gormley