We've been working with hospitals since our first collaboration with Great Ormond Street Hospital in 2013.
Our first encounter with hospital work dates back in 2013, when we developed our show Shh…Bang! in collaboration with Great Ormond Street Hospital’s (GOSG) Audiology Department & The Institute of Sound and Vibration of Southampton University.
For the production’s research and development we ran a number of workshops and which culminated in performing Shh…Bang! in the hospital to an audience of young patients and their families.
This eventually led into us undertaking a three-week creative research residency GOSH, in October 2017 to develop Tidy Up – a show about order & chaos- in collaboration with GOSH families and staff.
We used the Lagoon as a rehearsal and workshop space and each day of the residency invited people into the space or visited other areas of the hospital including Safari Outpatients, Rhino, the Activity Centre and the Reception. Together with children, families and clinical staff we delivered exciting movement, story-telling and music workshops. The movements, conversations and experiences which came out of these sessions then directly fed into our show, Tidy Up.
We also had a series of meetings with staff from the Psychological Services Department, who explained the logic children apply to order, patterns and schedules and helped to further inform the content of the show.
At the end of each week’s rehearsal, families and staff were invited to review the material developed in a family-led critique allowing them to directly shape a professional piece of performance which other families can now enjoy!
Tidy Up was premiered at GOSH during Family Arts Week and went on to tour nationally.
- Outpatient activities
During a hovering session in the reception area we met a four-year-old girl with multiple disabilities. There was a long wait until her appointment and she was getting restless. We engaged with her in a simple game of scattering and collecting ping-pong balls. She ended up laughing hysterically, while repeatedly throwing the balls up in the air and trying to pick them up under the seating and behind the reception desk as quickly as possible. She managed to recruit everyone present in assisting her and her character along with the ping-pong game were incorporated in the show unfiltered.
- In-patient activities
For our very first workshop the children who were to participate came to the Activity Centre straight out of treatment. They were considerably out of energy, with fatigue evident in their bodies. We introduced ourselves and told them we were going to play and mess around. The session ended up with one boy shouting “Are you ready to party?!” and practically leading the rest of workshop, singing and tapping full of energy.
- One-on-one activities by the bed
On the day we were delivering personalised sessions in Oncology ICU. We saw a girl returning form chemotherapy treatment, completely exhausted. Once back in her room she perched into her mother’s arms and started crying. To our surprise she said that she wanted to play with us. And to our bigger surprise she launched herself in the most vivid participation. Obviously distracted from pain and anxiety, she was laughing throughout the session –that lasted twice as long as scheduled- and was happily trying quite extreme physical exercises with us at the edge of her bed.
- Impact for families
A mother, whose son participated in a movement workshop during his hospitalisation, came to see the Tidy Up months later in Bath. She was overwhelmed to recognise movements her son had suggested in the workshop included as part of the choreography