Pebbles to the Pier

This site-specific, community-orientated project engaged with notions of memory, heritage, and belonging by personifying the remnants of the old pier head as a metaphor for Herne Bay.

Over the first two days a series of mobile and improvisational ‘interventions’ around the town served as poetic disruptions within the everyday; and an interactive installation in the bandstand acted as a point for ‘exchange’. Here, members of the public could have a cup of tea and discuss what the old pier meant to them. They were encouraged to write private messages to the pier, which were collected and wrapped around pebbles. On the third day, the ‘climax’ took place on Herne Bay beach at dusk. This celebratory performance served as a finale to the project, and brought all its components together. Besides visual and aural elements that referenced Herne Bay’s past, members of the public were invited to cast a pebble/message into the sea.

Performance Dates

Pebbles to the Pier
Herne Bay, Kent
Start Date: 22nd Aug 2007
End Date: 24th Aug 2007
Pebbles to the Pier: A Reflection
Performing Heritage International Conference, University of Manchester
4th Apr 2008
Pebbles to the Pier: A Reflection
TaPRA annual conference (Theatre and Performance Research Association), University of Leeds
5th Sep 2008

What People Say...

Extra Information

Commissioned by Canterbury City Council for Herne Bay Festival.

In 2008, Accidental Collective delivered a performative lecture which articulated the project within an academic context at ‘Performing Heritage International Conference’ (University of Manchester) and the Theatre and Performance Research Association’s annual conference (University of Leeds).

Here is a selection of the audience messages collected throughout the project.

Pebbles to the Pier is discussed as a case study in Professor Nicola Shaughnessy’s latest book: Applying Performance (Palgrave, 2012)

Photos by Peter Fry. Film by Richard Graham.