Coming soon…

Updates on:

  • Reassembled, Slightly Askew‘s inaugural tour and what the audiences have said around Northern Ireland have said (courtesy of support from the Wellcome Trust, Arts Council NI, and the MAC)
  • The culmination of my self-arranged residency with Assault Events on devising new work across text, music, and movement concurrently  (courtesy of an Arts Council NI Self-Arranged Residency Award)
  • My recent visit to New York City and Washington D.C. (courtesy of an Arts Council NI/British Council Artist International Development Award), and the amazing people I met
  • How jet lag can morph into acquired brain injury relapse

Write-ups of ‘Reassembled, Slightly Askew’

Smithsonian RSA SI

An interview by Anna McNay for Studio International.

Plus a review by Jane Coyle:

“A real-life ordeal, captured by a daring, disorientating artistic collaboration, which works brilliantly on so many levels…It should be available on prescription.” ★★★★★–The Stage

RSA The Stage

After its inaugural NI Tour, my brain takes a rest

Reassembled, Slightly Askew had a tremendously successful inaugural tour around NI from late April through early June, at the Metropolitan Arts Centre (as part of the Cathedral Quarter Arts Festival), Derry Playhouse, Flowerfield Arts Centre (as part of Action on Brain Injury Week), The Burnavon, Down Arts Centre and Island Arts Centre.

Audiences have called it:

“One of the most amazing, moving theatrical experiences of my life.”

“An amazing piece of theatre. An amazing use of sound. Very emotional piece. Very brave piece of writing.”

“Without question, one of the most vital and emotionally engaging theatre pieces I’ve ever experienced. I’m walking away informed, questioning, invigorated and ultimately grateful.”

“I think the piece should be widely toured and publicized and used for training purposes. As someone who has been through a lot of hospital treatments myself, I think this resonates across the board for any medical staff in contact with patients. It is indeed also a story of hope—and of love. “

“…very moving, terrifying, humourous and will stay with me for a very long time. The best piece of ‘theatre’ I have EVER experienced.”

BW Stephen sample

Nurse Stephen Beggs prepares an audience for the neuro-trip

“It was one of the most participative theatre pieces I have ever been involved in.”

“Shows an entirely different aspect to theatre.”

After a much-needed break for the summer, it will be returning to Belfast as part of the Arts & Disability Forum’s BOUNCE festival, 3-6 Sept at the Lyric Theatre.

(Photo credits: Ryan O’Hare/SlackPress)

brochures

 

high rez logos

‘Reassembled, Slightly Askew’ teaser

 

Spring 2015 Tour Dates in Northern Ireland:

30 April-5 May; The Metropolitan Arts Centre, Belfast (www.themaclive.com), as part of the Cathedral Quarter Arts Festival (www.cqaf.com)

6-10 May; Down Arts Centre, Downpatrick (www.downartscentre.com)

11-15 May; The Playhouse, Derry (www.derryplayhouse.co.uk)

18-22 May (Action on Brain Injury Week); Flowerfield Arts Centre, Portstewart (www.flowerfield.org)

26-29 May; Burnavon Arts Centre, Cookstown (www.burnavon.com)

1-6 June; Island Arts Centre, Lisburn (www.islandartscentre.com)

Late Aug/Early Sept (dates TBC); Arts & Disability Forum’s BOUNCE! Festival, Belfast (www.adf.ie)

Outside of these dates, Reassembled… may be booked as part of a half-day training for medical and healthcare professionals who would like to utilise the arts as an entry point into patient-centered reform in their practice. Contact mail@s-yee.co.uk for more information.

And March marched out the door…

I can’t believe I’m sitting here at the tail end of March, a month that at its outset was full of carefully laid out plans, including many a blog post about what I’ve been working on. I’ve assembled them into one single blog post here; my apologies about its haste…

1) WIGGLEGIGGLE  with Replay Productions, co-produced by Nottingham Playhouse,

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‘WIGGLEGIGGLE’ at Nottingham Playhouse, keeping company with Anish Kapoor’s ‘Sky Mirror’ sculpture

IMG_5996had its UK tour in Nottingham, The Egg Theatre in Bath, and finished at The MAC in Belfast this March as part of the Young At Art’s Belfast Children’s Festival 2015.

(if you’re wondering how on earth a poetry slam show for 3-5 year olds gets made, check my ‘Early years, cognitive schema and poetry slams‘ blog post)

 

 

 

2) The Lost Martini, with Accidental Theatre.

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‘The Lost Martini’ cast and director discuss story, structure, and character development via endless post-its that are moved (and moved back)

 

My official title was ‘writer/co-devisor’, but as the play was set in an underground jazz cafe in Belfast and immersed the audience in a whirlwind of the 5 characters’ stories at once, and they could hop between stories as they like, at times I felt writing the script was more like herding cats on multi-lane highway. The process was refreshingly democratic, with the cast creating text through improvisations and the creative team creating narrative shared within the 10 room set. There’s more about the process and creatives involved on “Post It Walls and Guitars” on the Accidental website.

3) I’m mid-way through an Arts Council NI-supported residency with music and dance company, Assault Events in Cardiff,  grappling with how oncurrent development of text, movement and music in devised work can be developed concurrently, rather than one or two of the disciplines leading the process with the others being tacked on. It’s been fascinating, challenging, thought-provoking and exciting, with a wonderful group of dancers to work with (courtesy of Arts Council Wales).

Sophy & dancers

Sophy Smith (composer) shares character theme tunes she’s written while watching the dancers, based on each dancer’s specific movement improvisations.

 

4) …and finally, I’m gearing up for the biggest project of my career to date, Reassembled, Slightly Askew. You may have read a thing or two about it on this blog already…

Here’s to spring!

Final ‘Reassembled…’ focus group feedback

Reassembled… has gone through a lengthy development process; from April– December 2014, over 75 people from the medical, arts and community/voluntary sectors heard sections and and provided their feedback in small focus groups, mostly at the MAC (Belfast).

Some of the most recent participants work for Stroke Association (NI), Royal Victoria Hospital, South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust, Accidental Theatre, and the MAC. I also had the unique experience of testing a section at the British Association of Neurological Nurses Conference in Manchester (Oct 2014), with Colin Williamson, Head Injury Nurse at the Belfast Trust, who is one of the biomedical advisors on the project, and was present throughout my time as an in-patient in Ward 4F.

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Testing ‘Reassembled, Slightly Askew’ at the British Association of Neurological Nurses Conference with chairs, not beds

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One participant opted for the carpeted floor

“Time flies in.”

“Helps you to empathise with the patient experience.”

“The staff [in the hospital] were extremely attentive and caring in meeting Shannon’s needs. it was insight to be part of Shannon’s journey.”

“I want to bring the whole team in and say, ‘You think you know what it’s like but your don’t.”

“A great teaching tool for families.”

“I found the experience to be extremely insightful…the sounds were amazing, very realistic. I did feel that I was inside Shannon’s head, trying to make sense of the world going on around me. Great piece of work–thank you.”

“Will make me think about the environment and noises, how I speak and communicate with patients.”

“A real eye-opener.”

“We do it day in and day out, but do we explain enough?…would alter what you tell someone…”

“You can never know what it’s like…you feel like you’ve got a tiny bit of understanding…”

“Found the continuous noises bombarding–very different from what you experience as a staff member”

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The artistic team meets (L to R): Paul Stapleton (sonic artist), Stevie Prickett (choreographer), Hanna Slattne (dramaturg), Matilde Meireles (sonic project support), Anna Newell (director)

With production of the immersive sonic artwork nearly finished, the focus is now on securing Reassembled… into galleries/theatre spaces for the general public and training settings for biomedical professionals to experience the finished piece throughout 2015.

 

This development has been made possible by a Wellcome Trust Small Arts Award and an Arts & Disability Award Ireland.