2BU Productions

We empower and give voice to marginalised people with lived experience of long term health conditions to take agency over their own health journey; we do this by making funny, shocking, memorable, affecting pieces of art, using creative letter writing, memoir and drama. We run workshops which unlock innovation thinking and develop leadership skills using drama based techniques.

Courses

Creativity courses to create a time capsule, to transform and get back in touch with yourself, and enjoy what's on your doorstep.

Stories

Podcasts, theatre, writing, graphic novel, prose.

Arts&health Projects

Bringing research and ideas to life, to stimulate debate and discussion, imaginative evaluation and public engagement.

2BU Productions’ projects are a bridge between creativity and health.

We specialise in:

At 2BU Productions, we wish you health and safety during the Covid-19 pandemic. We are continuing to strive for ways to keep learning and listening, to use our knowledge and experience, so that we can be of service any way we can.

Silva Lining's Care Plan - nominated awards

Nominated for a Rockie Award @BanffMedia 2022 (winner to be announced in Canada in June)

Shortlisted Marlene Sidaway, Best Actress, BBC Audio Award 2022

Shortlisted Best Audio Fiction Series, Indie Series Awards 2022

Longlisted for the Woman’s Prize of Playwrighting 2020 ​

Our Team

Our  team is female led and made up of award winning professionals and consultants working in the creative industries, academia, medicine, TV, theatre or on-line. We work with organisations such as Arts Council England, The Wellcome Trust, The Heritage Lottery Fund, Universitets hospital Danmark, Durham University, Nailsea Town Council, West of England Centre of Inclusive Living, EHCAP, Arts&Health South West, Theatre Orchard, The Technology Strategy Board, Bristol, Bath, Exeter universities, Discovering Blackdown Project, Regional Development Agency, the NHS and the BBC.

Scroll on to find Testimonals and our Diary below.

We strive for diversity by supporting artists and members of the public with lived experience, who might be living with disability or be marginalised in some way. We work to enable their personal experience – their ‘little whispers’ to influence every aspect of our work from inspiration to evaluation.

Thank you so much all our funders, we are truly grateful, in particular to Arts Council England, for helping us make a difference by bringing creativity and exemplary art works to the lives of many people with lived experience, as well as those working within arts and healthcare.

 
 

 

Listen to Silva Lining's Care Plan Podcast here:

Testimonials

Elspeth came by invitation to our Aarhus Universitets hospital annual conference to present her audioplay Out Like Fudge, and did an amazing work in framing the audioplay and ending the conference. I think the audioplay was so good and the discussion afterwards, was so interesting. It was also nice to get to know Elspeth and have discussions and chats with her in the breaks and at the dinners. Hope we can work together in the future.
Jeanette Finderup
Associate Professor Of Medicine hos Aarhus Universitet
This is an award for the whole extended Life of Breath team, including your brilliant work with Alice! ... on the 2018 Heath Humanities Medal Inspiration Award that Life of Breath won.
Havi Carel
Professor of Philosophy, University of Bristol and Lead Investigator of Life of Breath Project, funded by the Wellcome Trust
Thanks very much for the workshop and for these notes. I thought your room was buzzing with creativity and I loved how you introduced people to the ideas. I watched you working with xxx who gave the most bizarre answers (breath sounds like a lawnmower... !) and was really moved to see how gentle and non-prescriptive you were. I loved the pieces I saw (the box, the COPD one).
Havi Carel
Professor of Philosophy, University of Bristol and Lead Investigator of Life of Breath Project
Your work has integrity, spark, deep undertones and wit, the work and you both have much to offer the world through your vision and writing.
Dr Alice Malpass
Senior Researcher, Bristol Medical School
Everyone involved as Commissioners of care services or as carers should immerse themselves in this play. You will forever see "Caring" in a new light. I was immediately captivated by the scene and the setting - familiar to me as a GP. Difficulty in gaining access to the patient’s house using door codes has been part of my lived experience for many years.
Dr Malcolm Rigler
GP (retired), Arts&health Campaigner
I have read the new Silva script. I so enjoyed it. The pace, the humour, the narrative – all came across vividly…I find that it drama continues to convery aspects of our research better than any other medium
Professor Justine Schneider
Professor of Mental Health and Social Care, University of Nottingham
Silva Lining’s Care Plan is a wonderful and moving exploration of the complex relationship between carer and cared for. Both heart-rending and laugh-out-loud, it takes you on a roller-coaster of an emotional journey through Silva Lining’s story, with many an amusing aside from her Brain.
Alex Coulter
Director, Arts & Health South West. Chair, Culture, Health and Wellbeing Alliance
On an event we ran at The Arnolfini, Carmen remembers it two years later: "I went to something at the Arnolfini a few years ago, it was amazing - each of the guests and artists we were participating with were great. The whole thing was enlightening and inspiring and fun. I remember a dancer and Chris from Green Ginger showing us puppet breath. I still have my paper thing, an origami ball…”
Carmen Gabriele
Tobacco Factory staff member
The conversation between Silva Lining and her carer, the profound insights and astonishing puppetry engaged me throughout out.
Professor Gene Feder
Professor of primary health care Centre for Academic Primary Care Population Health Sciences, Bristol Medical School

Diary

July 2022

Professor Justine Schneider and Elspeth will run a workshop at HSR-UK Conference in Sheffield: ‘Silva Lining’s Care Plan’ A Podcast About Dementia Care.

Elspeth and Aggie will be going to Clevedon school to run a drama workshop for year 10s, on the theme of Tobacco. There’s also lots of planning meetings in progress about the webinars for Tobias and Syd, and the play will be rewritten over the next couple of months.

June 2022

Elspeth had an amazing time on a rare trip away to Banff Canada, to the Rocky Award ceremony, as our podcast play Silva was  nominated. The event is also a market for future work, so started conversations with potential international production partners for a few of our project ideas.

We ran our first advisory group meeting for our new play Tobias and Syd – it was fabulous.

Our work in progress reading on June 07 is coming up, am excited to welcome everyone who has signed up for this online free event. Want to come? We’d love you to. Why not consider telling someone about the event too? We’re quite unusual a company in that we invite a public audience into their work in the early stages. We love your comments and how it effects the outcome of the final work, so get involved! Tobias and Syd early play reading.

Other things – we’ve been up to a fair amount as a team, including recovering from covid (empathy with everyone effected by covid one way or another), we’ve been building our advisory team, and Elspeth has finished writing her draft for the reading, with the help of Dramaturg Sara Davies. Alice has been to a conference in Spain, making links with health workers all over the world. We are visiting Clevedon school to work with some year 10s there, and film maker Aggie Nyagari will be helping make some videos.

Meanwhile, Nick, Lois and Iain have been working on a new episode for Silva Lining’s Care Plan, due to be released over the summer. This will feature interviews with our incredible actors,  Melissa Johns, Shaparak Khorsandi, Marlene Sidaway and Cyril Nri.

May 2022

We’d like to invite you to this: Tobias and Syd early play reading on June 07
There will be a 1xhour performance: 6.30 pm – 7.30pm. Followed by a Q + A: 7.30 pm – 8 pm. Hope you can make it.
 

We’ve been doing some top quality communications training for junior doctors: https://2buproductions.org/training-junior-doctors-and-gps/

April 2022

Our podcast Silva Lining’s Care Plan has been nominated for a Banff Media Rockie Award. @BanffMedia’s prestigious Program Competition recognizes excellence in global television and digital content. rockies.banffmediafestival.com

We’re delighted that we’ve been awarded £15k funding on a co-production between Professor Andrew Russell of Durham University and 2BU Productions. This will help increase the impact of Andrew’s incredible book Anthropology of Tobacco, as well as a play based on the book, ‘Tobias and Syd’ which is currently being written. The funds are from The Durham ESRC Impact Acceleration Account (IAA) and will be in addition to existing Arts Council England funds, awarded to 2BU Productions. They will contribute to three core elements of the creative process – 1/drama productions, drama webinars and evaluation by the brilliant Dr Alice Malpass.

This builds on the long-term collaborative relationship we have enjoyed through the Wellcome Trust-funded ‘Life of Breath’ project ), Prof Havi Carel – Bristol; Prof Jane Macnaughton – Durham). Anthropology of Tobacco was an output of that project, as were two peer-reviewed articles co-authored by Elspeth Penny and Alice Malpass. The ‘Tobias and Syd’ play builds upon and extends that expertise and experience. It will also bring in some fantastic new elements to the project… and it’s going to be lots of fun.

About our play Silva Lining’s Care Plan: I’m liking these links:

https://www.institutemh.org.uk/research/centre-for-dementia/about-centre-for-dementia/1510-silva-lining-s-care-plan-podcast-reviewed-in-the-lancet

https://www.institutemh.org.uk/research/centre-for-dementia/about-centre-for-dementia

March 2022

Ah for the covid era… struck down with brutal bugs, several of the 2BU team have been bed-ridden – but now we’re on the mend. A re-remembering of the vulnerability of health, and how important it is to rest, rest and rest more with any virus or bugs.
 

We got a great review from April’s Lancet Neurology. A great piece of ‘evidence’ of impact-keeping conversations going amongst clinical/academic audiences.

Download here: Lancet Neurology April 22 review

February 2022

So excited to see how these nominations pan out – Silva Lining’s Care Plan, our podcast drama, has been shortlisted for BBC Audio Award 2022 (Marlene Sidaway, Best Actress), and Nominated Best Audio Fiction Series, Indie Series Awards 2022. Hoping we will get these awards, of course, but also delighted also to be amongst great company in the running up to them.

We’re writing, and pulling together ideas after an explosion of material at our artist forum in January. We’ll be presenting a scratch performance of the three ideas to a small invited audience of those involved in the project on 15th Feb. At this event, we will decide which is the best play to fully write to create a podcast this year. Then we will make the audio drama podcast. The event is invite only, but we have a couple of places available for anyone very interested in attending. Let us know on info@2buproductions.co.uk

Assistant Producer full time role – an unusual and exciting opportunity to work with 2BU Productions – this is a Kickstart post, email info@2buproductions.co.uk to find out more.

We have been selected to  deliver a Workshop Session on our play Silva Lining’s Care Plan at this year’s HSR UK Conference on 5-7 July in Sheffield (Health Services and Care Research Community).

January 2021

We’re ever so thrilled that Marlene Sidaway, who is in her 80s, is on the shortlist for Best Actress award BBC Audio Drama Awards for Silva Lining’s Care Plan. She and some other amazing actors – she’s in good company. She’s on the list as “Marlene Sidaway, Silva Lining’s Care Plan, director Elspeth Penny, 2BU Productions Ltd”.

Read about our new artists forum https://2buproductions.org/a-new-artist-forum-for-2bu/

December 2021

Sending warmest winter holiday greetings to all of our friends, associates, partners, co-producers and advocates.
 
We are building a live artists’ forum to develop work and we hope this will lead to a regular actors’ forum. Writer Elspeth Penny is exploring three ideas to take to the forum. Two fantastically skilled improvising live theatre artists – actor Kirsty Cox and puppeteer Chris Pirie, along with a musician (to be named soon) – will (if covid rules allow) explore scenes in January in Bristol for an explosion of ideas and guide development plans for all three plays. So proud to be building a brilliant community of 2BU actors and performers. All is possible because of Arts Council England, and we’d like to thank The Island and Puppet Place for providing space for us to work.

November 2021

 
2BU have nearly completed The West of England Combined Authority’s Creative Sector Growth programme, delivered by the Watershed, it’s been brilliant. The programme supports recovery by working with creative businesses and freelancers to help them improve their business’s resilience. Sign up before the closing deadline of 29 November at 12pm and get £3,000 of professional expertise (mentoring, coaching and/or consultancy).
 

Job opportunity!  2BU are looking for a new member of the team – https://2buproductions.org/join-the-2bu-productions-team-opportunities/

Elspeth had an awesome trip to Denmark, to share Elspeth’s play Out Like Fudge with 80 senior nurses, and to chair a discussion around the play. Barny Hole appeared virtually on a big screen, and we closed the conference with a buzz.

October 2021

Read about our first podcast audio drama launch and listen to the podcast: https://2buproductions.org/silva-linings-care-plan-listen/

As a development of our Little Whispers project, in collaboration with Barny Hole and Lucy Plumb, we presented at UK Kidney week, with a poster and a video ‘Reporting of health inequalities by the UK Renal Registry’ event.

September 2021

Royal Free GP Residency Breathing and Breathlessness: Beyond the medical symptom. Four of us worked for two days on a Royal Free GP Residency: Professor Havi Carel, Kate Binnie, Dr Alice Malpass, Dr Coreen McGuire and Elspeth Penny. We had tremendous feedback and were proud to be training GPs of the future.

Your Creative Sparkle We’re back for some more artful disruption THIS Thursday 9 Sept 7-8pm Letter to my Superhero and Other Friends: 3 workshops Sign Up. Workshops are free & stand alone. And if you couldn’t make it along last week, but would like to watch that’s fine! Pick a superhero you’d like to work with, and consider a couple of traits they have, then watch the videos of these workshops on Vimeo…Letter to my Inner Super Hero

Silva Lining’s Care Plan
Our podcast audio drama Silva Lining’s Care Plan is being launched on Sept 21st at 7pm online. 
Come to the launch, featuring speakers in the area of research into dementia carers, Professor Justine Schneider, Principal Research Fellow Dons Coleston-Shields whose specialism is neuropsychology of dementia, plus Trevor Clower, Carers Road Show and chaired by Alex Coulter. Come to the Silva Lining’s Care Plan Launch
 
We’re excited to share any updates and links with you – so do sign up here: Get updates on Silva

August 2021

Our podcast audio drama Silva Lining’s Care Plan is being launched on Sept 21st at 7pm online – more about this coming soon!

ACE success Yippee, we have news – we have been awarded an Arts Council National Lottery Project Grant to implement organisational development and creative development, spanning two years. Totally thrilled, thanks so much Arts Council England. We’ll be able to strengthen our model for developing quality arts projects that amplify unheard voices. On the creative development front, we’ll be able to develop three podcast showcase dramas and an actors’ forum; produce a completed podcast drama and publish a graphic novel. Can’t wait to get stuck in! I hope that you will get involved in some way too, we’ll have workshops, shows, content and workshops to share and are on the look out for new collaborations and to deepen our existing ones, as ever.

July 2021

Letter to My Kidney: This month I was honoured and moved to facilitate an introductory exploration for the initial ideas with some informed, wise folk who have a wide variety of lived experience of kidney disease. 2BU are further developing a collaboration and new arts-health project with two clinician researchers Dr Barny Hole and Dr Lucy Plumb from University of Bristol.

Free letter making workshop: Everyone is welcome to this event – sign up! POW!Get in touch with your inner superhero with writer and arts-health practitioner, @elspethpennywriter, in these fun and free to attend letter making workshops – one a week for three weeks on Thursdays at 7pm in September.Rediscover the lost art of letter writing in this introduction to artful disruption. Register here (closed)

June 2021

I heard the wonderful Rita Charon on a zoom meeting  say: “Truth cannot be told in words” – and she continued to say that words can be part of telling the truth, but we also need visual arts, dance, nature, so that we can understand our own living experience, and then witness that of others.

Our letter making embraces this principle. In relation to this, I have a development meeting (in person, horray!) coming up with two clinicians Dr Barny Hole and Dr Lucy Plumb, concerning a collaboration, using letters for kidney patients and their families.

May 2021

I am now alumni of the fabulous National Arts Fundraising course 2021!

Silva Lining’s Care Plan, our podcast play is undergoing another edit, it’s starting to sound really good. Can’t wait to show off about it! Thank you Arts Council England and our other supporters, we’re so grateful for your help in making this happen.

Delighted to announce that our play ‘Out Like Fudge’ will be translated and performed in Denmark in November 2021 (postponed from last year due to Covid). The play is called: Ikke mere udenomsnak in Danish! More about this here: Out Like Fudge

Also, I’m excited to be asked to be part of a superb 4 women team to co-facilitate a two day GP residential for Royal Free Hospital VTS Specialist Training Scheme.

 

April 2021

As the UK opens up and we can see a few friends again, the sun has helped make April at 2BU joyful. This month has been about studying, setting things up and nurturing seedling projects. My heart goes out to India and all the people suffering there; may things improve fast and our governments learn important lessons. To get our news about our podcast in edit sign up here: https://2buproductions.org/Silvaliningscareplanpodcast

 

March 2021

Our podcast, Silva Lining’s Care Plan, is being edited. I’m so proud of the all the performers, who did such a great job during the recording.
 

How things go around and build, once we’ve been on this planet for a while! Work from years ago continues to reappear and be rekindled, especially if it was fun and of value.

I’ve been teaching at Durham University and University of Bristol this last week, sometimes on the same day. Quirks of lockdown! Really wonderful actually to see lots of young faces on my screen and to hear their thoughts. At Durham, I ran some workshops on narrative for about 50 Anthropology students, for Professor Andrew Russell and his Tobacco module. Very fun and interesting and took me back to my Anthropology degree in dusty old rooms in Cambridge. Also I was taken back to setting up and teaching a narrative module at (what used to be called) Norwich University of the Arts for Suzie Hannah. God I loved that job.

It’s been great getting into that material again from a different perspective. Andrew and I were both involved with Life of Breath Project up to 2020, and hope to continue to build a collaboration. 

At 2BU, we’ve been making some exciting plans for the future of the company, including doing a bit of funding bid writing…

 

February 2021

We’re excited to show Elspeth’s write up of Bournville Tapestries, it looks great!! Commissioned by Arts and Health South West and Theatre Orchard, it’s been brilliant to be involved in bringing this account of a communities response. Text from Theatre Orchard:
 

The Bournville Tapestry brings together a series of stories inspired
by Community Connections, a creative social prescribing programme
developed with and for this locality.  The stories span the time before
and after the COVID-19 emergency and lockdown of Spring 2020.

The Bournville Tapestry represents a fraction of the stories that
could be told. The stories were gathered through a series of individual
zooms with writer, Elspeth Penny, in August and September 2020. Often
vibrant and passionate, the Bournville Tapestry is about different
points of view, sometimes entertaining and always illuminating.

It is a tapestry of a seascape with lots of loose threads,
unfinished. As time goes on more threads can be gathered. Not all
stories have been able to be included, so there may be holes in the
tapestry. Perhaps by continuing to listen to stories from different
perspectives, we may mend some of those holes, and perhaps avoid a fixed
ending, at least for now.

Find out more about the Bournville Tapestry 

December 2020

We are currently recording our podcast drama, Silva Lining’s Care Plan, having attracted a phenomenal cast. A previous edit of the script was longlisted for the Women’s Prize in Playwriting in August.

Secondly, Elspeth was commissioned to compile and write an evaluation report, in the shape of stories, about a social prescribing programme in Weston Super Mare’s South Ward, funded by Arts and Health South West and Theatre Orchard. She has interviewed participants, managers and workshop facilitators: we expect wide interest in the report.

Thirdly, we have been commissioned by Futures2020, (and funded by the European Commission) to run “Letter to my Kidney”, a participatory project and development of our letter writing initiative. Along with clinician/researcher Barny Hole, we have been working with kidney patients: older people, children, donors, patients on dialysis and a clinician. Using the old-fashioned communication methods of phone calls and letter writing in a world where zoom currently rules, we asked for a simple letter to start with, then as participants got used to the idea, we sent them art packs to help them create a series of Letters to my Kidney/s. We find the results touching and illuminating – available until 11th December https://futures2020.co.uk/futures-exhibits/

Or you can view our trailer here: Letter to My Kidney

November 2020

This first week of the month, I send out envelopes to participants in our new participatory project, Write a Letter to my Kidney/s as part of #Futures2020 with University of Bristol. Working again with fabulous clinician Barny Hole.

 

October 2020

We’re casting and starting to record Silva Lining’s Care Plan. It’s a superb cast, which we’ll be announcing soon. The first day of recording was awesome, but we’re saving up to tell you all about it, a bit further down the line.

 

September 2020

This week we were pleased to hear that Silva Lining’s Care Plan made it to a long list of scripts for the Women’s Prize for Playwriting. The draft we sent in was the last draft of our work in progress theatre script. It’s a podcast in production now, and even better!
Lovely feedback – ‘An interesting interrogation into care and neglect, especially surrounding the moral dilemmas of dementia care. The characters were funny and burst off the page – even Brain is full of charisma. I was a big fan of the play’s surreal elements.’
Find out more about the @SilvaCareLining #audiodrama #audiofiction #podcast read “The Story https://2buproductions.org/silva-linings-care-plan…/

 

August 2020

We’re making a drama podcast. Elspeth has been working with dramaturg Sara Davies, and the script has been getting better each time. Charlotte and Elspeth have been working on how to reach and serve our audience best. Euan McAleece (Maco) is working up a storm as Series Producer and Sound Engineer for the project.

 

June 2020

We’re honoured to have received funding from Arts Council England, to further a number of projects. One of these is to make our play Silva Lining’s Care Plan into a podcast. The play is about carers and care, so is highly topical – and a hugely important area to explore in these tricky Covid times.

Marlene Sidaway has been nominated/is on the shortlist for Best Actress award BBC Audio Drama Awards for Silva Lining’s Care Plan.

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