This is us! The Bromford Theatre Group’s tribute to our community

The Bromford Theatre Group pantomime has become a tradition in our community life together. Always performed in December, it has become an anchor point in our year. During the pandemic it was one of the many things that had to be suspended, and the loss was immense. The theatre group took on a new life during the pandemic, which is a story for another blog, but our desire and determination to do the pantomime this year was bigger than ever.

Every member of the group has their struggles, and the group is both an outlet and also a family for us. It gives us an opportunity to ‘be there’ for each other, and a chance to ‘show off’! Anybody who shows up is given a go and given a chance to shine. For our community the group has become a symbol of life here; People given a chance, people caring for each other, people having fun & not taking ourselves too seriously, and people wanting to put on a good show for their community. Not in a false way or pretending, but in a way that says just because we are a council estate doesn’t mean we can’t have the best, experience the best, and have things we are proud of and want to show off.

We hadn’t been able to perform our Panto since 2019, and we wanted our finale to be something special. We wanted to pay tribute to our community. The song ‘This is me’ resonates with us as individuals, as a group, and as a community, and as soon as it was suggested there was a resounding ‘that is perfect!’.

THIS IS ME

I am not a stranger to the dark
Hide away, they say
‘Cause we don’t want your broken parts
I’ve learned to be ashamed of all my scars
Run away, they say
No one’ll love you as you are

But I won’t let them break me down to dust
I know that there’s a place for us
For we are glorious

When the sharpest words wanna cut me down
I’m gonna send a flood, gonna drown ’em out
I am brave, I am bruised
I am who I’m meant to be, this is me
Look out ’cause here I come
And I’m marching on to the beat I drum
I’m not scared to be seen
I make no apologies, this is me

Another round of bullets hits my skin
Well, fire away ’cause today, I won’t let the shame sink in
We are bursting through the barricades and
Reaching for the sun (we are warriors)
Yeah, that’s what we’ve become (yeah, that’s what we’ve become)

I won’t let them break me down to dust
I know that there’s a place for us
For we are glorious

And I know that I deserve your love
There’s nothing I’m not worthy of
When the sharpest words wanna cut me down
I’m gonna send a flood, gonna drown ’em out
This is brave, this is bruised
This is who I’m meant to be, this is me

Look out ’cause here I come (look out ’cause here I come)
And I’m marching on to the beat I drum (marching on, marching, marching on)
I’m not scared to be seen
I make no apologies, this is me

When the sharpest words wanna cut me down
I’m gonna send a flood, gonna drown ’em out
I’m gonna send a flood
Gonna drown ’em out
Oh
This is me

Keala SettleThe Greatest Showman Ensemble Songwriters: Justin Paul / Benj Pasek
This Is Me lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd.

So as our show drew to an end, a few words introduced the finale and by the end of the performance everyone was on their feet joining in. For us this symbolises community life together. It was a perfect end to our show, but ultimately this looking back is only to help us move forward.

It’s been 2 long years since we last performed our pantomime, and what a 2 years it has been!

We have all had to face very difficult times, and it has affected us all one way or another. We have lost friends, family and loved ones during this time, and there are those who have suffered and felt alone or overwhelmed by the impact of it all.  There are those who have felt lost or unsure of which direction life is taking them. Its been hard!  We say to you continue to be brave, be strong and stay true to yourselves. You have the courage to be who you are meant to be. Break down those barriers and show the world what you stand for and your worth.

During the last 2 years we have witnessed our community stepping up in so many ways to be there for each other. To show support, compassion, generosity, and love. I stand here before you, on behalf of the Bromford theatre group, to say a massive thank you! Thank you for everything you bring to our community! This last song is our tribute to you and to our community.

There are people who want to cut us down. They wish we would hide away ‘cause they don’t want our broken parts’. But we are brave, we are bruised and we are not ashamed of our scars. We know there is a place for us, and we know we are glorious. This is us!

by The Bromford Theatre Group

We wish you a very merry Christmas, and here’s to a new year filled with discovery, connection and joy.


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