Luckiest of Me's, I get to work on the development of a piece of theatre for children with profound, multiple learning disabilities (pmld), with a wonderful and inspiring group of people - Ben Winger, Diane Thornton, Lucy McGreal, Kerry Cleland, Anna Newell and John Keilty. Thanks to Creative Scotland for the funding.
We spent 2 weekends meeting each other and sharing our collective experience of work in this area as well as finding themes, images, story ideas, music and props. It was so exciting to be in a room with skilled artists who are all passionate about what they do and about theatre and art being accessible to all.
The next phase of the development will take place at Mavisbank School where we will be for a 2 week residency, testing out ideas and making discoveries...watch this space!
When I arrived back in the UK, it seemed absurd that after all these observations abroad, I hadn't observed Hearts & Minds clowns at work since I started with the company in 2010.
So last week I went to Glasgow Sick Kids to see Dr Wallop and Dr Beatz weave their magic!
It was a really wonderful experience, seeing two people I know so well, in a hospital I know so well after a month of total newness. I had so many lovely chats with staff about how they'd like to see more of the Clowndoctors and the good work they do.
It was great to get an outside perspective. I can see how a few changes to the way we interact and do things could have a really positive effect on the way we are integrated on the wards.
And of course I am biased, but Wallop and Beatz were totally fantastic! They seamlessly engaged with children of different ages and cognitive abilities at once, including everyone AND being funny at the same time.
I'll finally be on the floor again myself on Thursday, and I CAN'T WAIT!
I am a therapeutic clown and performer. Writing here is part of my wider practice and maybe some of my thoughts will trigger some thoughts of your own and I hope that helps.