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Stories for young people

The Owl

The-Owl-Front-th

Mmm, a whole mouse for tea! Most owls would be delighted but poor Barley the barn owl is afraid of mice and often goes hungry. Being scared of a mouse is the last thing that an owl needs, but help comes from a most unexpected friend.

In this solo show Paul Bradley is composer, narrator, singer, actor and musician; weaving Barley’s story with the help of his original musical settings of ‘The Tyger’, ‘The Owl and the Pussycat’ and other classic poems.

Performed by Paul Bradley

Written and Directed by Elspeth Penny

Developed in association with Bristol Ferment at Bristol Old Vic. Also performed at St. George’s Brandon Hill, Bristol to full houses and festivals around the UK. The shows were accompanied by a dance workshop where children moved their way through Stephenson’s ‘Where go the boats’ and other poems.

“It was a truly lovely show by truly lovely people, thank you again for bringing it to St George’s and our young audiences.  I put your CD on when we got home, and my daughter spent a further blissful half hour or so dancing and singing along.” St George’s.

 

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Arts and Health medical humanities Our Projects

Bring Research to Life

Writing and performing fictional scripts, based on research, helps take ideas and complex concepts to a public audience.

News off the press for March 2020… our play ‘Out Like Fudge’ will be translated and performed in Denmark in November 2020.

Out Like Fudge is a short play/vignette, which was shown at a nephrology (kidney) conference at Bristol Wills building last December. In the audience was Jeanette Finderup, Klinisk Sygeplejespecialist & Ph.d. Jeanette liked it and is having it translated for her conference.

Described as ‘Hard hitting’, by another conference attendee, ‘Out Like Fudge’ is one of two short plays Elspeth wrote for clinician and Phd candidate Barny Hole in Autumn 2019, based on kidney patients. Much of it is verbatim, as it’s based on spoken interviews that Barny recorded and transcribed, as part of his PhD. The story features Fudge, a pet who died quite suddenly: our character Jo would like to leave the earth in a similar way.

The play will be on the 6th November in the afternoon – Barny and Elspeth hope to be there to introduce it. The play will be called: Ikke mere udenomsnak.

Conference organiser Jeanette Finderup says: “We were not able to make a direct translation, but the Danish title indicate, that now we do not talk around the subject anymore.”

If Covid-19 travel permissions and clinical work commitments allow for it, Elspeth will do a short introduction of the play and Barny will present a lecture for one hour with the title: Hvad må det koste at leve længere for en patient i dialyse? “The title says something like: How much will a patient in dialysis pay to live longer?”

Rehearsing Out Life Fudge in the Wills Building, Bristol: Chris, Jo and Bede.

The project started when Clinician Barny Hole of Bristol University had a hunch that drama might be a good approach to help with public engagement around his PhD subject. Elspeth was recommended to Barny on the grapevine, and asked her to write and direct the work. In the early meetings, we agreed that humour was important, even through the humour might be dark. Also we wanted to stay true to the people in the interviews, whilst protecting their identities and fictionalising elements to make it into an easier story to follow.

We’ve performed it on two occasions, enabling both a PPI group, then clinicians and conference delegates at #dialysisbalance to reflect, and consider dilemmas about medical procedures from the point of view of a patient. Thanks to Jo, Karen, @ChrisPirie and Bede for their sensitive script-reading skills #dialysisbalance #bringresearchtolife #elizabethbackwellinstitute funded.

Feedback after December dialysis conference:

“I thought it was very well done, and I liked that the actors spoke the words from interviews – it was a clever idea”

“The words were impactful and very sad”

“I do like different ways of communicating messages this certainly got across some key points form real life experiences”

“The revelation that all the words came from real people facing ESKD decisions was powerful”

“very involved. Has left a significant mark on me as to how many patients must feel when they are told dialysis is required”

“So powerful”

“Slightly shocked by some of the language – it is hard-hitting but a really good way of getting insight through drama”

“I’m a GP… it was thought provoking, challenging of traditional approaches both in care but also conference content. I really valued that”