Death in a Nut
This production is for family audiences, and children from the age of 6.
Reviews from performances at
St Christophers Hospice, Sydenham, London:
'Very powerful presentation of material that people often find difficult to put in to words.' Larissa Sherman, Drama therapist
'The music and the visual cleverness and simplicity were really enjoyable, moving and engaging.' Mick Sands, Community artist
Victory Primary School, Southwark :
'Very well put together - a simple story told clearly. Great sound effects from voice and instruments.'
' Made me think about my great-grandad. the music was appropriate to the theme - calm and quiet.'
'I liked the show - great sound effects, and after the funeral there was dancing and fun.'
'A good show - the scenes were creative. Great sound effects - loved the chicken.'
'If someone dies who is close to you, you should try to move on. I liked when he was fishing in the boat and when Jack put Old Man death in the nut.'
'[It made me feel] upset and happy - Grandma died but then they had a celebration.'
Red Balloon, Harrow :
'Thank you so much for treating us with a beautiful show full of creative imagery and fantastic music and still-echoing stories.'
Dying Matters Awareness week 2015
“The children really enjoyed the puppet show and all the activities provided - in fact many were sad that we had to leave at 12 … The teachers felt that the puppet show was pitched really well for the children and it was very well executed - follow up discussions back at school showed that the children had clearly understood the message that death is a necessary part of the life process.” Headteacher, Hillside Avenue Primary School, Nor
Where Are You Now?
This show is for adult audiences and for children from the age of 14.
Comments following the first performances at the University of York on 23rd April 2015
· Powerful performance - invites reflection on aspects of my work (Case Manager)
· It gave me a much deeper respect of the position family members are in and how as a therapist I could try and support them with uncertainties (Occupational therapist)
· Expose this to a wider audience of opinion-formers and policy makers - it's a big issue (Physiotherapist)
· Really powerful imagery - could it be used in hospitals? (Behavioural optometrist)
· I found the performance very affecting. As someone with no experience or understanding of brain injury this really forced me to reflect on the ethical and personal issues at stake. Great to see art and performance used therapeutically and to communicate subjective experience. (PhD student, linguistics)
· Very moving. I have a son who has had a brain injury, but not severe as in this sense.
· This show brings home the reality of the situation. It helped me with understanding that brain injury continues to affect the family of the injured patient far beyond our involvement. (Solicitor)
· It was very powerful. I have never known anyone with an injury like this and seeing this performance brought it to life for me. It helped me to remember the family and the impact it has on them and what they are going through. (Legal job unspecified)
· Very moving. My nephew suffered a catastrophic brain injury a year ago and died in intensive care a week later. At the time I felt we should have persisted. I'm not sure now. (Physiotherapist)
- I found Thursday's shadow puppetry performance really moving and very powerful. I found myself totally absorbed during the performance finding myself smiling through most of it as I picked up on all the key points/ideas being portrayed and enjoying the artistry of the puppets and imagery. Towards the end however the home and bedside images shifted me out of my brain and to my heart - back to my clinical work and my recent ethnography and I was totally unprepared for the emotional response which followed.
The combination of the voices, the music, the intimacy of the performance and the puppets - which were so, so cleverly made, for me was deeply emotive and portrayed so much of the key messages and essence of what we're all trying to get across to others. (Physiotherapist)
Vasilisa the Wise
'...a brilliant opportunity to introduce children to a more traditional way of storytelling where they had to concentrate and use their imaginations' ... 'a mother... from Ukraine ... had seen the show and was tellling the children more about the stories which she remembered from childhood and which she had been delighted to find in Carshalton.' member of Friends of Honeywood Museum, London 2013
'That was a fantastic story. I'm going to tell it to my friends.', child audience member, 11, Frost Fair 2013.
' Today is a game-changer. I've never seen this class sit so quietly.' Victory Primary School, Y3 teacher, October 2014
"I thoroughly enjoyed it, the children had a wonderful time and got alot out of it educationally and socially." Sue Tolputt, Year 4 teacher, Churchill School, Oxted
"Mostly our days are spent on reading and writing and mathematics. This is a real opportunity for the children." Serena Flint, Year 3 teacher, Tangmere County Primary School
The Conference of the Birds : adaptation for community performance of 12th C poem by Farid Ud-din Attar 2012
'This was a very challenging but extremely rewarding project, involving pupils from Year 5 and members of the community all the way up to the 90 plus aged ladies who made beautiful bird hand puppets, which the children were only too delighted to use when promoting the sale of programmes for the evening and matinee performances of the Conference of the Birds.
...The ninety pupils were inspired, first by working with Ben Musgrave, playwright, in the latter part of the Autumn term, to get into the character of their bird and build its personality. The children had great fun, suddenly starting to absorb the language of ‘birdkind’ and, as we used this as a focus in class as well, the writing produced was incredible. The birds’ journeys through the triangle of fire were a terrific read and reflected the imagery and vocabulary the children had built up and made their own. ...
There was not a child disengaged from this project – they loved the art work and creating their actual birds. Their excitement and enthusiasm was gratifying and a superb response to the inspirational input of Karin Jashapara, Simon Honey, Karen Barnett and Jo Beldham.
In the second part of the summer term, we revisited the scripts written with Ben Musgrave and started to learn these whilst trying to use the bird puppets to tell their story. Karin Jashapara is to be commended on her role in pulling the production together. Discussion between the two of us had led to a group of talented young ladies forming a Flamingo Flamenco dance, which was choreographed by Tracy Felton who trained the girls. This lifted the performance.
Indeed we are exceptionally proud of the arts enriched year from which they have all been able to benefit and their own reports reflect this.
It was a fantastic experience to be part of a project that encompassed different members of the community.
There is no doubt that the professional artists are able to deliver an inspirational level of artwork with all pupils and it gave the teaching staff a boost to watch this work in progress.
Julie Reed, Head of Year 5, Stanley Park Junior School