For one month in May and June 1977, Welfare State worked in Lille, France at the Spring Theatre Festival of the Theatre de la Salamandre. In the 17th Century courtyard in the centre of Little, Welfare State constructed a ‘stone’ garden with a series of paper and clay sculptures animated with music, performances and processions. In one month scores of sculptures, objects, paintings, drawings and poems were made and new music was written and played. Hundreds of people came every afternoon and all the evening performances (with a limited audience of 100) were heavily over-subscribed.
The main construction was made in a group collaboration of regular members of the company. John Fox, Bob Frith, Boris Howarth, Dave Murray, Luk Mishalle and Jamie Proud. With the addition of Liz Leyth (Milton Keynes Town Artist) and a local musician: Richard Cuvillier.
Key factors in enabling the company to produce the work in France were two weeks paid preparation time on site prior to public exhibition and trust from management who encouraged them to create as freely as was necessary.
Reviews for the event from Feature, Plays and Players (March 1977) and Le Monde (July 1976)