Partnered with: The White Lion, Selling, Kent

Working in association with: Applause Rural Touring

Brand new to the INN CROWD family are Stacey Sampson and Bethany Wells. Stacey is a writer/facilitator who specialises in collaborating with communities to unearth hidden stories. She works in a wide variety of settings including being Resident Artist on Europe’s largest housing estate. Bethany is a designer working across performance and installation. They are both Regular Collaborators with Sheffield Theatres and Third Angel.

The White Lion on the other hand, is a very special part of the INN CROWD project’s history and have been hosting shows since the conception of the project. A beautiful institution in the Kentish countryside with its heart and values rooted in what it means to be a ‘proper’ village pub. It is a hub for Selling community and its many visitors, where you are just as likely to be propping up the bar as you are to be having a delicious meal or even witnessing the best that local and national talent has to offer.

Stacey and Bethany hail from Sheffield, a city with a rich history of pub carol singing. Ordinary people come together to make extraordinary memories, following a 250-year-old pub crawl filled with songs named after local places and steeped in their stories. For their INN CROWD Residency, they plan to share their tradition and discover the traditions of the White Lion Community. Through letters, phone calls, photographs and maps they will learn about the punters, the village and their stories. They will be woven together to create the lyrics of a new song for the community.

Stacey gave us a comment about the project on behalf of herself and Bethany: “We are so excited to be working with the White Lion and their community this summer. We’ll be sharing our beloved Sheffield pub carolling tradition with them and asking about their local customs, stories and memories so we can weave them into a map and a song. It feels like such a gift to have a creative exchange with other people at this uncertain time. We are especially thrilled to be paired with the White Lion as Karen and David are big advocates for live arts and music. We hope to celebrate the project with a good old knees-up at some point, sharing the absolute joy that singing in pubs can bring, between our home-city and theirs.”

To read about Stacey and Bethany’s trip to Selling you can CLICK HERE

The pair provided the White Lion with a beautifully illustrated art piece with their pub song lyrics on it to hang on the pub wall and also provided illustrated tea-towels with the lyrics on for distributing to the community. You can view the tea towel artwork by CLICKING HERE

When the pandemic allows, there will be a performance of this song at Christmas time at the White Lion by the community choir.