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.
Stories for you, by you and about you.
Do you have a story that you want to tell? Little whispers waiting for expression? We are a creative consultancy developing and delivering ideas to inspire, engage, inform and entertain, headed by Writer and Arts&Health specialist Elspeth Penny. We also make quality plays and art works, where we respond to these stories and tell new ones, with humour and panache. We create participatory art projects and courses where we collect these stories together.
2BU Productions’ projects are a bridge between creativity and health.
We specialise in:
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 The Wellcome Trust, The Heritage Lottery Fund, Nailsea Town Council, West of England Centre of Inclusive Living, EHCAP, The Technology Strategy Board, Bristol, Bath, Exeter and many other universities, Arts Council England, Discovering Blackdown Project, Regional Development Agency, the NHS and the BBC.
We strive for diversity by supporting artists and members of the public with lived experience, who might be disabled, vulnerable and/or neuro-diverse or marginalised in some way. We enable their personal experience – their ‘little whispers’ to influence every aspect of our work from inspiration to evaluation.
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.
We’re excited to be making a free course in creative letter writing, Writing Without Rules. Get creative, get back to hand writing. For year 6,7 and 8 pupils (age 10-12) and their families. Great for home-schooling.
Sending you all our warmest wishes for this tricky time. Keep safe, be well.
Here’s our last new newsletter: https://mailchi.mp/f34a48e18617/lockdown-and-the-coming-out-of-the-red-shoes
Here’s a January blog post, featuring all the latest for Catch Your Breath Bristol including a virtual walk through of the exhibiton:
Script-writing: wonderful to be working with clinician Barny Hole at Bristol University to create script material using original data, and to direct them into short, acted vignettes, to act as focal points for discussion. These have been performed by actors at two events, a PPI day (patient and public involvement) in Fishponds, and a clinical conference at the Wills building in central Bristol. For more, see our Project page.
Catch Your Breath exhibition and workshop programme https://catchyourbreath.org/catch-your-breath-moves-to-bristol has had a vibrant present in Bristol since September, for Life of Breath Project, starting with a launch at Southmead and many other activities. Some lovely feedback:
‘A brilliant range of events, inventive and intelligent’.
‘You were a great speaker – audible, succinct, interesting and measured (steady presence).’
‘What a rich, diverse and interesting array of exhibits and stories!’
Graphic novel: Elspeth’s own creative practice as an artist has recently been on her graphic novel, working with the steadying second opinion from graphic novelist Rachael Ball. She presented her work to 35 artists at the Laydeez do Comics meeting in Bristol in October. For more, see our Project page.
In July, we ran a workshop, Elspeth, along with Dr Gene Feder and Dr Alice Malpass at the Storytelling for Health conference in Swansea. On display at the festival was “Suspended Breath” by Louise Jenkins, an art work which has been inspired by our Letter to the the Breath project. There was also the launch of a new paper by Alice and Elspeth freshly published in a special festival edition – Storytelling, Self and Society.
Over Spring, Elspeth has been fortunate to have been nourished on a series of creative residentials, with storytelling as an ongoing theme. All of these have brought here own creative practice together with a wider storytelling for transformation theme.
- The first was Arts and Health South West’s Spring School on Storytelling and Young people’s mental health – an intensive residential school for health professionals, researchers and arts practitioners in a beautiful location in Dorset. Time for collaboration, action learning, and experimental practice.
- The second was Storyworks for film makers, at Cherry Orchards Bristol looking at the stories that tell us, “the descent”, then restorying the World with Kanada Gorla and Tina Sharman, organised for women film makers by Bristol film maker Esther May Campbell.
- The third was a graphic novel residency, run by Laydeez do Comics – which supportive critical feedback and clear direction from a small focused group. This was an inspiring, fun and creative weekend in the countryside near Grantham with graphic novelists Rachael Ball, Charlotte Bailey, Lou Crosby, Wallis Eates and Nicola Streeten, and Corinne Pearlman, Editor in Chief at Myriad Editions.
Elspeth has a new temporary role, as one of two Exhibition Consultants for Life of Breath Project’s end of project exhibition ‘Catch Your Breath’ at Southmead hospital and beyond. She will be working part time alongside Dr Catherine Lamont Robinson, artist, researcher and honorary lecturer in the School of Social and Community Medicine at University of Bristol… we’ve had a number of wonderful first meetings. We can’t wait to get deep into the discussions, plans, ideas and practicalities of bringing them all into being along with other artists, clinicians and academics and staff at Southmead hospital.
2019 Delighted to announce that a new paper written by Elspeth Penny and Dr Alice Malpass, is now available Open Access: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/17533015.2018.1555178. (Taylor Francis online). This comes out of our work with Wellcome Trust funded Life of Breath project. It is also due to be published in an issue of Arts & Health.
2018-19 We’ve won funding from Life of Breath Project to pilot Letter to the Breath creative workshops in 3 schools.
2018 We won Arts Council England National Lottery funding to write, direct and preview a theatre play – Silva Lining’s Care Plan. Based on anonymised diaries kept by paid home carers who work with people with dementia, the work explores the world of the paid carer with the help of live music, plenty of mischief and a dose of tenderness. Special thanks to our partner Professor Justine Schneider at Nottingham University and all our wonderful cast and team, it’s been such fun. Onwards now to the next phase….
See trailer: Silva Lining trailer