Well, this is exciting... our first official blog post on our new website! In case, you don't know us (and have happened on this blog purely by accident) we are a political theatre collective in Manchester, co-founded by actor Julie Hesmondhalgh, writer Becx Harrison and visual artist Grant Archer. We've been going just over 2 years and have produced over 20 shows, exploring social and political issues, through script in hand rapid repsonse events, and immersive, installation based projects. You can find more about us HERE.
Anyway, enough about us!
We have started this blog as we wanted a way to keep you up to date with all the projects we are working on and dreaming about... and the amazing people we get to meet along the way!
So today, as we're getting ready for our latest workshop at the first NHS hospital, Trafford General, Greater Manchester, we just wanted to fill you in on the R and D stage of a project celebrating our wonderful NHS.
A Bit of Background...
This year marks 70 years of the NHS. With the first NHS hospital down the road, we couldn't let such a significant birthday of this amazing institution go by without celebration. So we have teamed up with The Edge Arts and Theatre Centre in Chorlton, to plan a project about the NHS this Summer.
Trafford General (was Park Hospital) is known as the birthplace of the NHS. Nye Bevan was famously symbolically given the keys marking the start of the National Health Service. At a time when the NHS is in crisis, we want to create something that celebrates the thing we're proudest of in our country, and that we need to fight to protect.
Partnering with The Edge...
The Edge in Chorlton is a fab theatre and arts centre (that also serves AMAZING cake)... If you haven't ever been, check it out! We are working with our friends Janine Waters and Simon Waters from the Edge, who are not only as passionate about the NHS as we are, but who are also skilled workshop facilitators, creatives and musical theatre writers! We wanted to bring together a wide variety of skills to create a unique multi-disciplinary project about the NHS. We’ve got lots of ambitious ideas for what this project might result in, funding dependent, and we’re really excited to have Janine and Simon and The Edge partnering with us.
R and D at Trafford General...
We are in the research and development stage of this project, which means we are still working out what story we need to tell and how we do that, writing funding bids and most importantly, researching, reading and gathering lots of stories from a wide variety of people who are ‘in’ the NHS (which is basically all of us, either as staff or patients!).
So we have based ourselves, for the next few months, thanks to the support of the Arts Council, in Trafford General Hospital – the birthplace of the NHS.
We are running drama, musical theatre, writing and photography workshops with staff in this fabulous hospital. These workshops are designed to help with staff well-being and confidence building, as well as being a lot of fun! We wanted to give these hardworking, amazing people an experience they would get lots from as well as sharing their experiences.
We will also be chatting to patients, the local community and running an online story gathering survey to get a wider picture of our NHS.
If you want to share your story, get in touch HERE
A Staff Member at Trafford General…
We love to get feedback from people who are at the centre of our work. That’s why we love this from one of our lovely participants in the workshops:
"a lot of laughter and a great sense of achievement.... who knew that there is a bit of an actor in us all? I believe this type of workshop would benefit the health and well being of lots of staff who have the pressures of working within the NHS.."
What Happens Next?
We are waiting on the results of funding applications for the next stage of this project. If you would like to support the project, drop us a line HERE for more information.
But watch this space... this Summer we will be celebrating the NHS... in one way or another!
Becx, Grant and Julie
Team Take Back