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Narratives of Empathy and Resilience: Digital Showcase

Calendar Icon Event Ended: 24 Sep 2021
Age Rating IconAges All Ages
Clock Icon120 minutes

Since mid-May we have been working with a collective of dynamic artists from a range of different artform disciplines and are presenting nine R&D ‘work in progress’ digital Theatre for Young Audiences performances that will resonate with, and are aimed at, audiences of young people from birth to teenagers and young adults.

The filmed performances and Q&As will be presented on Zoom. This will be followed by a provocation session, where the artists and delegates can debate the issues raised by the pieces.

All filmed sessions have closed captioning for d/Deaf and hard of hearing audiences. Further access needs will be discussed with delegates.

Further details will be sent to registered delegates nearer the time of the showcase.

Please note: If you would like to book all four sessions, please book the 10.29am “show” on Thu 23 Sep.

Thursday 23 September

SESSION 1: 10.30am – 12.30pm | Work for Teenage Audiences

Daytime Deewane

for ages 12+

Daytime Deewane explores the beauty and struggle of living with a multi-faceted, multi-cultural identity as a 15 year old teenage boy in 1990s Britain. Puberty, inter-generational conflict and spirituality are explored through a British Muslim Pakistani lens, observing how a young man who occupies many spaces searches for harmony.

Inspired by the daytime raves of 1990s British Asian culture and using poetry framed within a live DJ soundtrack, the piece joyfully celebrates a generation who carved out space for a ‘British Asian’ sub-culture.

PROVOCATION: Is there a need for ‘joyful’ narratives of British Asian experiences in TYA?

Find out more

Flat Lands

for ages 13+ and young adults

A multi-media spoken word show about friendship, risk taking and BMX bikes, told from the perspective of an older, benevolent but often socially invisible housing estate street cleaner. 11 year-old Leo has been kicked out of school and spends his days on his bike, showing off to the older teenagers on the estate and causing trouble where he can. In Jay and Rico, who are struggling themselves to navigate the demands of day-to-day existence, Leo finds two role models and a chance to make choices of his own.

Flat Lands aims to explore the context of tender male friendships and communal responsibility. The piece highlights the resilience, joy and beauty of communities who are often overlooked in theatre-making.

PROVOCATION: Is there a danger of demonisation in narratives presented about socio-economically disadvantaged communities in TYA?

Find out more

Thursday 23 September

SESSION 2: 2pm – 4pm | Work for 13+ and Older Audiences

Hot Orange

for ages 13+ and young adults

An exploration of friendship, reconstructed memories and the liberating power of playtime imagination, as two teenage girls from very different worlds, meet again after 8 years.

Set in their childhood playground basketball court, Hot Orange interrogates childhood intimacy and the moment when you fall in love: feelings that are shattered by the darker reactions of others.

Using spoken word, framed within an evocative soundscape, the piece presents audiences with a powerful and honest contemporary narrative of queer love in childhood.

PROVOCATION: Are narratives of queer love in childhood neglected in TYA?

Find out more


for 13+ and young adults

Loop.In.Doors explores social anxiety as an experience common to both transgender and cisgender people. It uses the everyday experience of getting ready to leave the house to look at how people are judged in public, and the impact of social norms on our well-being.

Framed within a live DJ soundtrack and using spoken word, Loop.In.Doors is an evocative and beautifully crafted piece, which challenges form through exploring the sound and musicality of language and finding new phrasing and physical interpretation. At its heart, it asks to consider that everyone has something to gain from trans liberation.

PROVOCATION: Can challenging form and language allow narratives of social dysphoric experiences* to be presented with authenticity in TYA?

(* Social dysphoria can describe distress and discomfort that occurs as a result of how one is viewed by society. Assuming a person’s gender, using incorrect pronouns, or making assumptions about social roles in relation to gender can all be factors contributing to a person’s experience of social dysphoria).

Find out more

Friday 24 September

SESSION 3: 10.30am – 12.30pm | Work for 0-7s

Psychic Babies

for ages 1-3

Psychic Babies explores rites of passage, rituals, the wisdom we are born with, carry with us, have adopted from ancestors we have never met and the legacy we in turn leave behind.

With pulsating sound presented live on stage by a DJ artist, framed within evocative visuals, this theatrical and visceral performance uses semi-improvised movement and limited language to challenge audiences about stereotypes of beauty and motherhood in work for the very young.

Psychic Babies was initially inspired by those older homeless women who sleep on the streets in urban environments.

PROVOCATION: Does work for the very young in TYA pander to stereotypes about beauty and motherhood?

Find out more


for ages 3-7

Powerfully moving and playful at the same time, 10-In-The-Bed features four characters who each in turn are threatened with being kicked out of the ‘too-small’ bed, but who are saved when their unique quality is identified, and with the realisation that their loss would be detrimental to everyone’s well-being and safety. There are sharks, pirates and funny fishes with flappy fins; there are damp walls, a dripping tap and the institutional voice beyond the door telling them to ‘be quiet’.

10-In-The-Bed explores urban deprivation, with the imaginative play that children enact serving as a metaphor for games that serve as a route of escape from their harsh reality of poverty.

PROVOCATION: How young can an audience be if artists explore social deprivation and poverty through their art making?

Find out more

Friday 24 September

SESSION 4: 2pm – 4pm | Work for 7-11s (KS2)

Boys Will Be Boys

for ages 9+

Boys Will Be Boys explores how and why young men can, from an early age, be subjected to toxic masculine experiences that can have negative impact upon their own development and the lived experiences of others, especially women.

Boys Will Be Boys challenges the young audience to unpack the origins of adult gender violence from seemingly harmless playground games, peer pressure and influential societal role models, especially among family members.

Using poetry and exquisitely beautiful storytelling, the piece leaves the audience asking questions about how their own behaviours and interactions can have huge impact upon others.

Find out more


for ages 7+

Food is Angel’s place for adventure and imagination: she loves pigs in blankets at Christmas, and the all-day buffet on holiday in Spain is a place of fascination and experimentation. As those around her start to comment on the size of the portions on her plate and a healthy eating regime at school means she can’t eat what she wants anymore, she starts to ask questions.

Angel explores young people’s relationship with food and diet cultures, seeking to challenge societal expectations, stigmas and negative stereotypes surrounding female body image.

PROVOCATION: Are ‘tell it as it is’ narratives the most effective way to explore issue-based themes in TYA?

Find out more

The Bench

for ages 8+

Gentle, reflective and powerfully understated, The Bench explores the importance and beauty of inter-generational friendships, when two different generations unpack their feelings and stories and find a metaphysical connection through the act of building a simple park bench.

With child-like visuals and a soundtrack rooted in the world of traditional Armenian music, The Bench uses the story of the 1915 Armenian genocide and the death marches into the Syrian Desert inflicted upon ethnic Armenians by the then Ottoman Empire.

The piece depicts a powerful exploration of inherited trauma and resonates with contemporary forced migration.

PROVOCATION: Is there value in using historical trauma-based testimony and narratives to address contemporary stories in TYA?

Find out more

The programme is a continuation of Half Moon’s long-term ambition to create stories that reflect our diverse community, as well as support under-represented artists in developing their practice aiming to create new bodies of work for the TYA sector from artists new to the sector.

The Narratives of Empathy and Resilience programme is funded by an Arts Council National Lottery Project Grant.

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