We're exploring how we might do things differently in this situation in which we find ourselves....... with an absolute insistence on how crucial the live experience is for our audiences.
We are busy developing rigorous and detailed new policies, protocols, projects and new modes of delivery for the rest of 2020 and beyond to ensure that everything we do aligns with all guidelines.
The work has always had at its very heart the live responsive connection and an inherent and crucial ability to nuance and change from moment to moment. This simply takes this built-in flexibility to a whole new level.....
All of the below are, of course, subject to revision as the next few weeks and months unfold.....
I am delighted to have been offered a mini-commission by Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown Arts Office as part of their programme for their Cruinniú na nÓg 2020 programme funded by Creative Ireland.
The neuroscience that inspires all of my work with babies indicates strongly that being born under the shadow of COVID-19 will have an emotional impact on babies as their brains form. The calm, relaxed, interactive oasis for both parent and baby that I aim to create in all my baby shows is a safe space not simply in terms of meeting restrictions and requirements.
Determined to find ways to create the kind of connected, immersive, responsive live experiences for babies safely within the new restrictions, this commission will allow me to take the music and projection from GROOVE and explore it as a show for babies.
Planning on this show begins now. The week of exploration and open sessions is scheduled for November 2020.
SING ME TO THE SEA - the at-home remix
Due to tour to hydropools this July and September, this magical watery adventure is now scheduled to tour for three weeks in August in collaboration with the Mermaid, the Civic and Riverbank Arts Centre. Taking the innate responsiveness of the show to a whole new level, this re-imagined 'dry land' version will be performed in the gardens/drives/outside the windows of homes of families of children with complex needs. Still full of ethereal live harmony singing and gorgeous costumes (created by award-winning composer David Goodall and renowned costume designer Susan Scott), reflective silver balls, rainbow fish and water moving through colanders like waterfalls will all happen at an appropriate distance from our audience members, with their accompanying adults mirroring the action to add the up-close sensory element.
Bookings will be open on the websites of the relevant venues at the end of June and a process of virtual pre-visits will take place to ensure that each different private 'at-home' adventure is magical, calm and, of course, safe.
Additional touring is currently being explored for September/October.
Original trailer here
Longer version with commentary from our original creative consultants here.
I'm delighted to have been commissioned by The Civic to create a pop-up semi-improvised version of BigKidLittleKid, taking the characters from the show, the original musical score from the show and inspiration from where we find ourselves in these new times to create something that can be as live, as responsive and as engaging to its young audience as the original show whilst exploring a new form both in terms of structure and place. Currently planning that this show will popup in open spaces (eg playgrounds, parks, quiet streets) in September 2020.
original trailer here
lock-off version of original show here
To read the Civic's blog about all of their Ready Steady Show 2020 Commissions under the shadow of Covid-19, click here.
GROOVE is a brand new adventure for children with complex needs and, like all my shows for this audience, it'll be very responsive and interactive. It's inspired by the 70's and will be performed in a brand new purple portable performance space with the four audience members sitting on comfortable Buddabags with the four performers singing live, interacting with the audience and with the space being filled with immersive video art.
My shows are always developed in close creative consultation with our audience members so that they inform and inspire the shows as they come into being.
Usually I do my creative consultation during rehearsals based in special schools but as we're all on lockdown, I'm having to find a different way! So we're collecting a group of creative consultants to help us with this from their own homes - families with children/young people with complex needs who will be sent links of what we're working on to have a look at/listen to and feed back on.
Of course it's nowhere near the same as the live experience but at the moment, it's all we've got.....So these links will be quite rough and the singing will be synthesised voices for just now. And of course the live connection with the performers is missing which is such a key part of the experience.
If you have children/young people with complex needs in your family and would like to volunteer to be part of our group of creative consultants or have any questions about the project, drop me an email here and I'll sign you up! Families can join in at any time and we'd love to hear from you!
We are also planning to gather to rehearse in person in November, hopefully with some live creative consultation with our audience. We will, of course, be strictly working within safety guidelines and consulting with families and relevant organisations. Watch this space.