A new exhibition capturing the places and spaces close to people’s hearts in Stoke-on-Tren has opened in Longton Exchange.

Falling for The City – created by Potboiler Theatre – features portraits of local people in the places that mean the most to them, from Spode Works to Longton Central Methodist Hall and places in between.

Potboiler are a Stoke-on-Trent based theatre company led by Kat Boon, from Penkhull, and Kat Hughes, from Alsager. Falling for The City was created as part of their production, Stoke – A Love Story which took place at Longton Methodist Central Hall in October 2019.

Alongside Stoke – A Love Story, which told a mysterious tale of five residents who wake up to discover their city had been transformed, the company were supported by the National Lottery Community Fund to explore local people’s relationships with the city through theatre workshops and a pop up café in the window of an empty shop in Longton Exchange.  Shoppers were invited for tea and cake and to share their local love story about the places that mean something to them. The company then worked with local photographer Jenny Harper to capture images of people in the places they love.

Kat Hughes (L) and Kat Boon (R) Image Andrew Billington.

Potboiler Director, Kat Hughes said: “It’s been wonderful to see the range of places that mean something to the communities of Stoke-on-Trent. The exhibition has really highlighted some of the amazing architecture and places and spaces we’re lucky enough to have in the city.”

Potboiler Writer, Kat Boon said:  “It’s great to be back in Longton with this exhibition – we loved spending a month rehearsing our play Stoke, a Love Story in the town’s former postal office thanks to a partnership with Longton Exchange and then creating the show in the beautiful Central Hall. It’s been great to bring to life one of the units again with these lovely portraits captured by the talented Jenny Harper.”

Yvonne Moulton, Centre Manager at Longton Exchange said: ‘We have been very excited to work with Potboiler Theatre over the last twelve months and we are delighted to see the Falling for The City photograph exhibition installed here at Longton Exchange. The shopping centre has been running an initiative to use empty retail space for local artists and creative organisations like Potboiler.  As a business it’s been important for us to show that empty space can be put to alternative use. The Falling for The City photography exhibition is a project that we are delighted to be able to support.”

Image by Jenny Harper.


The exhibition featuring a selection of portraits is available to view in the window of a vacant unit in Longton Exchange until the end of the year. The full collection of Falling for The City images can also be viewed online at www.potboilertheatre.co.uk.

(Main image Jenny Harper.)

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