The counter is now closed….

The Counter Culture project has now ended. Thank you so much to all of the young people, school staff, Arena Theatre staff, artists and heritage professionals, audiences and members of the local community who contributed their stories. Thanks also to Heritage Lottery Fund and our other funders, without whom this project would not have been possible. It has been a wonderful experience for everyone involved and I am sure that the children and young people who took part from Penn Hall School and West Park Primary School will never forget it.



The Counter Culture DVD has also arrived!


We have received the Counter Culture DVD. Those who have ordered a copy will have them delivered very soon. If you would like to make an order, please email Alison at, and I will email you an order form. DVDs cost £4.50 each.


Counter Culture book now available!


The Counter Culture book is a fantastic record of this project. John Watson’s photographs and the children’s own comments tell the story of the research stage of the project, the devising stage and the performance itself. The book is available from the Arena Theatre, and costs just £7. To order a copy please email Alison Vermee at  Copies have been donated to the City Archives, Wolverhampton’s library service and the British Library!

Counter Culture Exhibition at the Light House Media Centre, now open!

John Watson’s exhibition of photographs documenting and celebrating the Counter Culture project has opened at the Light House Media Centre in Wolverhampton, and will run until 13th June. Don’t miss it!


More images from our day at Wolverhampton City Archives


Penn Hall pupils share the work they have prepared about being involved in the project. These documents were then placed in archive boxes, ready to be donated to the City Archives. Archive facilitator Adrian Clamp asked the children if they would come back in fifty years and re-visit their archive boxes.








Tony Stamp shows the children where their box will be housed now that it has been donated to the Archives.

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While we were at the Archives, Penn Hall and West Park pupils made these displays. Some of the materials are written accounts of the project,  some are photographs and some drawings.




We hope you will go and see the display on the ground floor at the Archives.


Getting ready for the exhibition!


A selection of  John Watson’s fantastic photographs, which have charted and documented the Counter Culture project, will be exhibited at the Lighthouse Media Centre in Wolverhampton from June 2nd-13th. This morning, the sign-writer came in to create this sign for the gallery space. We look forward to seeing your comments on the exhibition here.

Donating our research to Wolverhampton City Archives


On Friday 9th May, the pupils and staff from Penn Hall School and West Park Primary School met with members of the project team at Wolverhampton City Archives to donate items to the Archive from their research. We began in the beautiful Rococco Room, and the children showed everyone what they wanted to donate. This included not only the digital recordings of interviews, the script of the performance, shadow puppets and photographs, but their own scrapbooks, and reflective writing about the project, and many other items. We hope that many people will come and look at this work in years to come.



Wiktoria spoke about the project as “history in the making.”


Artwork inspired by our experience of the project

More photographs will be posted soon!


Getting ready for the Counter Culture exhibition!


The Counter Culture team are currently working hard on preparing for the exhibition of John Watson’s images which will take place at the Lighthouse in Wolverhampton from 2nd-13th June. At this time, we will also be launching the DVD of the performance which took place at the Arena Theatre in April, and the commemorative book. All very exciting!

Counter Culture performances a huge success!


Well done to all the students from Penn Hall School and West Park Primary School for their talent, energy and commitment in creating and performing Counter Culture at the Arena Theatre this last weekend. We thank you! And thanks also to the teachers, artists, technicians and theatre staff for their dedication and skill. More photographs will be posted  here soon, and then we can all look forward to the exhibition of John Watson’s photographs from the project at the Lighthouse in Wolverhampton, from June 2nd – 13th. Keep checking this blog for updates!

Counter Culture performances at the Arena Theatre almost sold out!



Pupils at West Park Primary School and Penn Hall School will be performing at the Arena Theatre, Wolverhampton on Friday 21st and Saturday 22nd March.  They have been working with professional artists since last autumn on creating this wonderful performance about our exchanges over counters and how they reflect and shape our society.

The remaining few tickets are available from the Arena Box Office on 01902 321321.

The performance is being filmed, so for those who miss the live experience, there will be a chance to see the performance at a later date.