Kirsty and I met on Wales Lab Summer Camp 2014. Over coffee, gazing out at the sea, we talked about our work, about being artists, bravery, failure and fear. I told her about a little idea I was noodling away at. A one woman show for a family audience inspired by a children's book called The Paper Bag Princess. (Best children's book ever!) I loved Kirsty's design work and the idea of her creating a puppet 'Paper Bag Girl' and a world of paper was very exciting.
We took the idea to Wales Lab who supported our first Research and Development. They introduced us to a place in North Wales called 'The land'. https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2014/may/10/perfect-childrens-playground-the-land-plas-madoc-wales A ‘Junk’ Playground with a raw, energised, untamed feel about it. It was an overwhelmed, challenging and excited place to be, full of potential, possibility, story and adventure. The children we met were bold, courageous, imaginative and totally held their own in this wild untamed environment.
Kirsty and I wanted to share the positive impact of allowing young people to play freely in this type of environment. The idea of creating a world with pallets, tires, tubes, rope and mud that can be manipulated by cast and audience was a very exciting possibility. Risk and adventure is slowly being designed out of children's lives. Can we use our theatre practice to design it back in?
Yes! Yes we can!
Almost Always Muddy is a hands-on interactive show for young people that allows children to safely explore risk. The young audience use tools and junk yard materials to build the world of the show. We then tell a story, led by suggestions from them and what they have built. We've done a few trial runs and the energy, creativity and play of the audience is incredible.
We want the young people who take part in this show to come away feeling like their world is bigger and they are braver in it, and we want parents to come away reconnected to their childhood play and sense of adventure.
It's an outdoor show and we’re raising funds to build our very own unique portable venue to tour the show in. This enables us to get right in to the hearts of communities that don’t have access to the arts. We have 8 days left to raiser the final 25%. It’s all or nothing. We are also match funded so if someone is kind enough to pledge £20 we get £40!
We’ve got some brilliant rewards including tickets to the show at Battersea Arts centre with a special after show party with the cast, as well as a beautifully illustrated ‘How to Build your own Paper Bag Girl Puppet’ kit and a lovely enamel mug with our Logo ‘Almost Always Muddy’ on it.
Every little helps even £1! You can make a pledge here:
Sharing the project on Facebook and twitter is a huge contribution!