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Dagenham East factory brought back to life

PUBLISHED: 12:10 21 July 2015 | UPDATED: 12:10 21 July 2015

Geraldine Pilgrim

Geraldine Pilgrim


An acclaimed artist is bringing her talent for transforming buildings and landscapes to an iconic industrial site in Dagenham East.

Geraldine Pilgrim has linked up with Creative Barking and Dagenham to use the former Sanofi pharmaceutical factory to stage an hour-long performance for a week at the end of August.

“The empty building is asleep and dreaming of its past,” Geraldine explained. “Half-opened doors reveal moments of medicine’s history.”

Well is a celebration of the former pharmaceutical factory, which closed in 2013, and to remember those who worked in the building.

Geraldine thought it was a great idea to re-energise the empty building with stories and memories from the past, complete with song and dance.

“A choir of chemists sing an acapella lullaby of periodic tables and chemical formulae, tablets and pills pour into an empty space, video images inhabit metal cabinets and the scientists’ white coats hang ready for the day’s work,” she explained.

Well has been commissioned by Creative Barking and Dagenham, bringing a corroboration with the local community that will see its 170 performers made up of former Sanofi employees, students from Barking and Dagenham College, ballroom dancing couples, choirs, line dancers, contemporary dance groups and gardeners.

Liza Vallance, the artistic director of Studio 3 Arts, said: “The Landmark Commissions are all about showcasing Barking and Dagenham as a place where great art happens.”

The show opens on Monday August 31 and runs until Sunday September 6, with shows throughout the day and cheaper tickets for Barking and Dagenham residents. Tickets cost £3.50 to £12.50. For more information visit or call 020 8507 5607.

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