‘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…

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‘Reassembled…’ comes to London this May ’16

ANT RSA screenshotThanks to Reassembled…‘s director Anna Newell (2016 Ellen Stewart International Award Finalist for Artists and Theatre Companies Doing Socially Engaged Work with Youth), Reassembled… has been invited to be part of Battersea Arts Centre’s ‘A Nation’s Theatre Festival’ this Spring, 11-28 May.

A Nation’s Theatre Festival is a two-month celebration of theatre from around the UK from April – May 2016.  There are over 60 shows and events in the festival, across 17 London venues, performed by more than 350 artists from outside London. Reassembled… is the only production from Northern Ireland that is participating.

“It is A CELEBRATION of the UK theatre ecology, shining a light on the breadth of innovative theatre and ideas produced by companies, artists and theatres from around the nation. It’s an opportunity for London audiences and theatres to experience, recognise and champion work from around the UK. It is A PROVOCATION to encourage conversations and debate:

  • How can we reverse the flow of theatre from London out to the rest of the UK?
  • How do we encourage more arts provision outside of the capital?
  • What can theatre tell us about politics, devolution and identity?”

Tickets are available at www.bac.org.             BAC logo

Research, development and funding (2013-2015) was made possible by:

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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

Focus group feedback to ‘Reassembled…’ (Sept 14)

The development of Reassembled, Slightly Askew continues, with one more focus group held this month, in the same format as the one held in May:

Participants completed a baseline evaluation about their knowledge of neurology, acquired brain injury, psychoacoustics and binaural microphone technology, brain injury support services in Northern Ireland, and if the arts can be used as an effective approach in training for biomedical/health & social care professionals.

They were explained the terms of play, so to speak–if at any point during the audio experience, they wanted to stop listening, they could remove the headphones. They retained an element of control in the immersive experience in which they were lying down in hospital beds, eyes covered with eyemasks, ears covered by headphones. They were also told that while the two short audio samples from the current full draft was being played, they would be supervised, but not stared at.

After the two separate audio samples were played, the participants were gently woken one by one, and invited to return to the discussion table in their own time. There, they revisited their baseline evaluation, made additional comments, and a short group discussion was facilitated:

“The use of the sound technology was impeccable. I have never felt more in this situation before, especially the part where Shannon is being washed in the hospital. I truly believed that I could almost feel it myself! Amazing work!”

“I found this very powerful Shannon—it raised questions for me that I haven’t thought of— why do they have mirrors in lifts?? I was very struck by this I felt like the piece clearly conveyed the powerlessness.”

“I believe this is an excellent tool as it gives an understanding as to what feels like to have an acquired brain injury; the confusion the frustration etc, I felt at points I was experiencing the journey myself”

“Having also spent 3 weeks in the high dependency unit of a hospital in the past year, I found this quite traumatic. While your specific injury was brain-related, have you considered its impact on other types of illness”

“How can I find out more?”

“How did it feel for Shannon waking up in the hospital to foreign Northern Irish accents”

“It is mesmerising, hypnotising”

“Overwhelming—almost like getting soaked in a tidal wave”

“I do feel taken out of myself and vulnerable”

“Very personal piece of work. headphones transport us to her ‘world’/condition, could happen to any of us at any time, need to know more about these issues”

This feedback will be given to the artistic team and inform the next stages of revision as we move toward completion of the final draft before the end of Dec 14.

Reassembled logosShannon Yee is a HATCH supported artist at the MAC from 2013/2014.

Brain Injury–Northern Ireland’s ‘Silent Epidemic’

An excellent BBC NI news story broadcast yesterday about brain injury in Northern Ireland, in which the broadcaster, Marie-Louise Connelly shares the hospital statistics that NI has the highest number of people admitted to the hospital with brain injury in the UK. The charity, Brain Injury Matters, describes brain injury as Northern Ireland’s silent epidemic and calls for more services to be in place.

Reassembled, Slightly Askew, which I am testing out with selected focus groups in the next few months, is in the right place at the right time to tour NI beginning in 2015, then beyond, courtesy of support from The Wellcome Trust, Arts & Disability Award Ireland (administered by Arts & Disability Forum, Belfast) and The MAC (where I am fortunate to receive invaluable support from it’s HATCH supported artist scheme).