‘Reassembled, Slightly Askew’ in London at Battersea Arts Centre

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(image by Richard Lavery/Tickle Here)

Reassembled… is off to an amazing start to its 3 week run at Battersea Arts Centre as part of their ‘A Nation’s Theatre Festival’, in which it is the only NI show to be invited to participate. It’s been in the very capable hands of NI actors, Stephen Beggs & Mary Lindsay:

Mary STephen out front

Coverage so far includes various London-based publications:

Time Out

listed as one of Time Out London’s ‘Hottest Theatre Openings’

The Arts Council NI’s website, a fantastic 4-star review from Lyn Gardner in The Guardian, a heartfelt blog post from Webcowgirl, and post-show feedback from audiences:

“If you see just one production in London this year, it should be this.”

“Profound evening…a real must-see!”

“Wow, what a thought-provoking 90 minutes, a slick and rounded arts experience.”

“Amazing… [I was] touched and impressed.”

“It is moving, beautiful, fragile and deeply important. Thank you.”

“Best binaural piece I’ve seen this year so far (you’re the 4th). “

“I felt more exposed than ever.”

“Such a deeply moving experience.”

 

With the show running until 28 May, there’s more feedback and reviews to come…

‘BLISS: Afloat on a sea of dreams’ for students with Profound and Multiple Learning Difficulties (PMLD)

It’s been quite tricky to explain to people what the project I had the pleasure of being involved in with Replay Productions over the past few months has been. In true Anna-Newell-style, it’s quasi-many things, and you can’t fully understand it without experiencing it yourself.

Fortunately, Replay has just released its video documentary about the project, BLISS:


I certainly never thought that my own personal experiences with sensory overload and cognitive processing difficulties (and the anxiety and frustration that accompany such experiences) would be a valuable asset in the work I do; as the writer on this project, writing for an audience with cognitive and sensory difficulties, it was. For example, feedback from the teachers in the special schools we visited consistently highlighted how they were surprised by the moments of silences built into the theatrical journey, and how “we never do silence.” Yet, silences, an absence of external stimulation, is essential when you’re trying to make sense of the world around you and then act upon it. Silences are much more vital to my ability to function now than before my acquired brain injury.

I am intensely proud of this project, the creative team involved, and honored to have been included in it.

‘Recovery’ coverage

In chronological order…

 

My soapbox moment at the recent Arts & Disability Forum launch:

“I believe Recovery has tremendous potential in the arts, the health and social care sector, and the opportunities where they overlap. The combination of sonic arts technology, movement, sound and dramatic narrative has resulted in a new genre of performance. Recovery’s story of an individual’s experience of brain injury can be used as a resource for doctors, nurses, and social care professionals to increase their understanding of what their patients may be experiencing. It can also be used as a resource for families and friends of brain injury survivors, as well as those living with brain injuries as a stimulus to discuss their own experiences.

Strategically, Recovery can be linked into the policy and service development work done across Northern Ireland by DHSSPS and its Regional Acquired Brain Injury Group (established June 2010), and the annual Brain Injury Awareness Raising week organized by the individual Health Trusts. It also provides a unique opportunity for assessors on the Disability Living Allowance panels to increase their understanding of brain injury and how a hidden disability affects the individual on a daily basis.

Unfortunately, nearly everyone knows someone (either personally or professionally) who has experienced some sort of brain trauma (stroke, neurological condition affecting the nervous system, brain aneurism, blood clot, brain damage from an accident, brain tumor, etc). No two cases of neurological trauma are exactly the same, some share common symptoms; but all can’t be fully understood by anyone other than the individual experiencing it.

Recovery begins to bridge that gap.”

And the response from Health Minister Poots to my invite to the ADF launch: Image

Not nearly as robust a response as I would like, but a response. A seed planted, perhaps…