The Multi-Story Orchestra


Welcome to Our Future In Your Hands – produced by The Multi-Story Orchestra and Strike A Light, in partnership with GL1 Leisure Centre. We’re so glad to have you with us!

Also: a massive thanks to GL1 and everyone involved in making this show happen – we couldn’t do it without all your support!

We hope you have a fantastic evening. We want to put on events that people love – incredible experiences that send you home buzzing.

So your feedback is incredibly important to us: please do take 2 minutes to tell us if you enjoyed tonight or not!


It’s so great to have you with us this evening – thanks for coming along.

This is a relaxed performance, so make yourself comfortable.

🪑 Sit where suits you

🍺 Get up and go to the bar or the loo whenever you want

👏 Feel free to clap or cheer or woop or dance any time!

And you’re more than welcome to hang around and chat to any of us afterwards: let us know what you thought of the show, tell us what you want to see happening in Gloucester or just come and say hi.

We want you to feel really welcome, and to have a brilliant evening. Enjoy!

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About the show

Our Future In Your Hands
Kate Whitley – Composer
Laura Attridge – Poet

Our Future In Your Hands was inspired by the seismic global youth movement against climate change, championed by Greta Thunberg.

This is an epic piece imagining the world recovering from climate change and being reborn again in the future – and an optimistic vision that we think we all need at the moment!

There are two choirs – one representing the voice of anger and protest, and one the voice of future optimism and change. The three soloists portray an astronaut, looking down to Earth from space and seeing the world as a whole for the first time, a man deciding whether or not to have a child, and a woman struggling to find water and survive in an apocalyptic future. Through their stories and the choir’s protest songs, the piece takes us on a journey from terror and destruction to the imagining of how the world could be if we survived and recovered.

About The Multi-Story Orchestra

The Multi-Story Orchestra is more than just an orchestra. It is a community of professional musicians and young people who create extraordinary performances, tell stories and unleash creativity.

“We perform in unexpected spaces and bring powerful and meaningful music to life. We believe creating the best art means involving and valuing absolutely everybody.”

Since The Multi-Story Orchestra’s first performance here at Bold Tendencies ten years ago, they’ve performed in Gloucester, Birmingham, Ipswich and East Riding, and broadcast the first ever BBC Proms performance from the car park in Peckham.

“They play heroically, they play loudly, and they’ll play anything…The response was ecstatic, and it deserved to be” (The New York Times)

“Forget fusty concert halls, The future of music is emerging in a municipal car park” (The Times).


Kate Whitley – music
Laura Attridge – words



I cry
I howl
I roar
I wail
I scream
I bellow  

The world cries out
with the last of its voice
with the last of its strength
with the last of its life
but there is no answer


I am Sky
I cry out
but there is no answer


I am Water
I cry out
but there is no answer


I am Earth
I cry out
but there is no answer


I must walk 
the miles to the river each day 
for water 
as the sun rises.

My feet blister
on the hot rock.

I must dig 
on my hands and knees each day 
for water 
in the dried-out river-bed.

The earth is as thirsty
as I am.

I must wait
for the rain to come each day 
for water, 
but there is only dust.

The seasons are shifting
too quickly.

We must leave
our home soon, to search 
for water.

But where should we go?  
Where can we go?


You thought
that the world turned
for your money, those
thin pieces of paper.
But when you have stolen
the food from our hands,
no one can eat money.

You left
it in bags and in bundles:
those dry pieces of paper.
But when you have dried up
the water from our lips,
no one can drink money.

And what
are they worth
to us now, these dirty
pieces of paper?
Because when you have poisoned
the air in our lungs,
no one can breathe money.


I dream of a violent sky,
trembling with thunder and lightning,
the brutal weight of the wind.
And I dream of a child.

I dream of a drowning island,
watching the dreadful rise of the tide.

I dream of a forest alight,
fleeing the flames on foot,
only smoke for miles and for miles.

And I dream,
though I should not,
cannot, will not, dream
of my own child.


Where truth should be
there is silence.

Where action should be
there is ignorance.

Where unity should be
there are walls.

Where hope should be
there is darkness.


The world weakens
and time always
treads onwards.


Clouds build, charged with current –
again and again the air tears itself apart.

White ice sweats under the sun,
shrinking, leaving only barren rock.

The angry earth – quaking, convulsing –
disturbs everything living on its surface.

The world weakens
and time always
treads onwards.


Wake up,
wake up and see
the chaos you have caused:
the damage and debris.
Our future is in your hands;
wake up and set us free.

Look up,
look up and see
the choices that you make
which shape reality.
Our future is in your hands;
look up and set us free.

Speak up,
speak up and see
the power that you have
to save sky, land and sea.
Our future is in your hands;
speak up and set us free.


And suddenly
the lip of the world
rises to meet me:
the white and the blue
and the green of it.

It feels as if
I am opening my eyes
for the first time,
as if I have never seen
the earth before.

From far above
I witness cloud rivers,
storms forming,
the sun’s bright reflection,
all of humanity.

It feels as if
I am opening my eyes
for the first time,
as if I have never seen
the earth before.


as the present
stretches away
from the past
it grows as frail
and as delicate
as truth

you must
hold it gently
in your upturned palms
take it outside
find a soft patch of earth
under the sky
waiting for you

we will plant it
and water it
with hope

help it
to grow stronger
to grow branches
and leaves
spreading wider
growing rich and green

to the sun and
to the future


The world awakens
and begins to open

opens like a flower
opens like an eye
opens like a mouth

uttering its first sounds
unfurling its new leaves

to begin again
and again and again

Across my hands
currents flow,
tides rise and fall
like breath.

Under my feet
roots grow deeper
reaching into the earth,
taking hold.

Above my head
stars appear,
radiant through
clear, bright air.

Credits and thanks

Performed by:
The Multi-Story Orchestra
The Multi-Story Choir

Soprano – Sarah-Jane Lewis
Alto – Kate Howden
Bass Baritone – TBC

Conductor – Christopher Stark

Our Future In Your Hands was commissioned by the Buxton International Festival, in collaboration with the Royal Over-Seas League.

This is a Genesis Kickstart Fund project, supported by the Genesis Foundation. The Multi-Story Orchestra are grateful to the following funders who have made this event possible:

Arts Council England
Borletti-Buitoni Trust
PRS Foundation
Granada Foundation
Britten Pears Foundation
John and Susan Bowers Fund
Marchus Trust
Thistle Trust
Three Monkies Trust


We’d love to know what you thought about the show and a little about you (to help us find out who’s attending our events and plan for future festivals and shows).

It only takes 2 minutes and it’s SO helpful to hear your feedback.

Thank you!

More events coming up…

We try and make sure there are exciting things like this happening in Gloucester all year round. If you enjoyed this evening, here’s what else we’ve got coming up at the moment:

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