At 2BU Productions, we wish you health and safety during the Covid-19 pandemic and in the recovery afterwards. 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.
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 award-winning, 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.
2BU Productions’ projects are a bridge between creativity and health.
We specialise in:
2BU Productions: awards
LAWebfest 2023 Official Selection and Nominee
Cusco Webfest 2023 Official Selection
Best Podcast Actress Miami Web Fest Dec 2022 to Melissa Johns
Most Empowering Marginalised Support Enterprise 2022, Southern Enterprise Awards
Nominated for Best Podcast/Musical Score, Miami Web Fest Dec 2022 - (Sarah Moody's score)
NJ WebFest 2022 Official Selection - Best Direction (Elspeth Penny), Best Supporting Performance (Shappi Khorsandi) and Outstanding Drama.
Miami Webfest 2022 Official Selection
Nominated for a Rockie Award, Banff Media 2022
Shortlisted Marlene Sidaway, Best Actress, BBC Audio Award 2022
Shortlisted Best Audio Fiction Series, Indie Series Awards 2022
Long listed for Women’s Prize in Playwriting 2020
A team of diverse expertise and lived experience
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.
Hot smoky news from 2BU
Listen to our podcast drama, Tobias and Syd here:
Prepare to be hooked. Tobias and Syd is a four part podcast play about our relationship with tobacco, our relationships with each other, and with desire itself. In this time travel romance, Syd is at once seduced by and suspicious of the shape shifting Tobias, as he launches his new product. Join us for 4 linked events with inspiring speakers.
What are people are saying about the play?
Events, videos and the discussion of ideas linked to the play
More than anything, we want to create discussions around the themes of the play. These events have now finished: https://www.eventbrite.com/cc/tobias-and-syd-1452789 but please Spread the word, join in the discussion, make your own video about tobacco and post it online with the hashtag #tobiasandsyd. Visit the webpage https://2buproductions.org/tobias-and-syd/ for more info.
Listen to our podcast drama, Silva Lining's Care Plan:
What others say about our work
Diary - a shortcut to our news
Elspeth is happy to be running a letter workshop for a book fest – Burnham Book Fest – on Friday 19th May at The Princess Arts Centre, Burnham-on-sea. Possibly a first in person letter workshop since before Covid! https://www.theprincesstheatre.co.uk/events/a-letter-to-one-of-my-very-many-experiences-2/
Also, Elspeth’s getting into the ins and outs of the story, plot and theme of our new graphic novel project.Tips and Tricks for Girls in Trouble is a working title.
We are delighted to launch our drama Tobias and Syd. Check out the play at Tobias and Syd.
Join us for 4 linked events with inspiring speakers. Listen to it before or after the event.The events run from 17/01/23 to 7/02/23 https://www.eventbrite.com/cc/tobias-and-syd-1452789. Spread the word too, join in the discussion. Tobias and Syd is made by award winning 2BU Productions. Please see our webpage https://2buproductions.org/tobias-and-syd/ for more info. Can’t wait to see you there!
Prepare to be hooked. Tobias and Syd is a four part podcast play about our relationship with tobacco, our relationships with each other, and with desire itself. It will be released on all major podcast platforms on January 10th 2023. In this time travel romance, Syd is at once seduced by and suspicious of the shape shifting Tobias, as he launches his new product.
We’re so happy that our talented performer Melissa Johns has won BEST PODCAST ACTRESS/PERFORMER as Karen in Silva Lining’s Care Plan at Miami Web Fest. Melissa, British actor and disability activist, is sensitive and funny in her role as the carer who has to choose between caring for a growing brain in a petri-dish, and the woman she is meant to be caring for. Thank you @melissajohns and @miamiwebfest Find the play link above or on all good podcast sites.
“Adding smoke to breath. ESCR Festival of Social Science on November 10th 2022”. Andrew Russell and Alice Malpass introduced some of the ideas behind our project Tobias and Syd, in this event, such as why Elspeth has written ‘breath voices’ into the play in an extra webinar, thanks to an invite from Durham University for The Festival of Social Science (FOSS).
Delighted to share our new episode, Episode 4 for Silva Lining’s Care Plan. https://2buproductions.org/silva-linings-care-plan-listen
Thanks very much to Shaparak Khorsandi, Melissa Johns, Marlene Sidaway and Cyril Nri for the interviews, plus Iain Hunter and Nick Sutton. Check out our linked blog post here: Interview with Shaparak Khorsandi: blog post
Your Creative Sparkle: Inviting you to join Elspeth between 6-10 October, to: reinvigorate your creative, artistic and personal life. A love letter to the self . Create the beginnings of your unique story in Your Creative Sparkle letter writing and yoga residency on the historic Treglossick Farm, set in a stunning Cornish location, close to woodlands, rugged coastline and moors. 6-10 October 2022
New Jersey WebFest: We are thrilled #WeGotNominated for no less than 3 prizes #NJWebFest. Best Direction; Best Supporting Performance; Outstanding Drama @silvaliningcareplan
- Shaparak Khorsandi has been nominated for Best Supporting Performance, playing Brain in Silva Lining’s Care Plan for #NJWebFest, congratulations @shappikhorsandi!
- Outstanding Drama (Narrative Fiction Podcast) Thanks to our cast, crew and producers for creating our show.
- Best Direction (of a Narrative Fiction Podcast) Elspeth Penny.
So proud that we have won an award – “Most Empowering Marginalised Support Enterprise 2022”, Southern Enterprise Awards. Thanks to all of our participants, artists, contributors, co-producers, funders, advisors and audience! It’s a team thing.
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.
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.
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.
We’ve been doing some top quality communications training for junior doctors: https://2buproductions.org/training-junior-doctors-and-gps/
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:
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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
Assistant Producer full time role – an unusual and exciting opportunity to work with 2BU Productions – this is a Kickstart post, email email@example.com 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).
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/
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.
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.
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. 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.
Facebook https://www.facebook.com/Silvaliningscareplan/ Twitter @SilvaCareLining
And on this website: https://2buproductions.org/silva-linings-care-plan-podcast-the-story/
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.
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)
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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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