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LESS ALONE

MORE ALIVE!

 

 

Currently in development,

'Less Alone, More Alive!' is a 60 minute autobiographical solo show about love, death and Borderline Personality Disorder.  Set in the style of a children’s party with specially written songs, specially drawn cartoons and a whole host of characters. 

To find out more, please click below or feel free to get in touch.  It’s great to meet future collaborators and co-conspirators.

"...and I run.
I run from myself, to myself, for myself"

Less Alone, More Alive!

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ABOUT

Against a backdrop of the ‘Troubles’ in Northern Ireland and an epidemic of mental illness, Suzy and the voices in her head ‘Big Red’ and ‘Little Red’ explore love, loneliness and the nature of human connection.

This explosive show is for anyone who wants to LIVE and THRIVE rather than survive. For anyone who has had to change, who has felt the need to speak out. For anyone who yearns to dance like nobody’s watching.

Structured through a set of vignettes, this show gives the audience insight into what it feels like to live with a committee of voices in your head. The surrealness of the experience ofBPD — where each thought and feeling is magnified and exaggerated to the extreme — is highlighted through cartoon-like images, and a new physical language created by the strainand humour of drawing and performing simultaneously.

Less Alone More Alive aims to promote understanding and connection by giving audiences insight into neurodivergent thinking. The piece reveals the complexity of BPD and parts of
my identity by juxtaposing a big-hearted Irish storytelling approach against a more formally inventive style which speaks through fragments, images, and song.

 

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'Insanity- a perfectly rational adjustment to an insane world'
R.D Laing

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WHY NOW?

Humans need hope. Now more than ever. We crave connection.

Inspired by my experiences living with BPD, I’ve got a big heart and a big desire to tell the truth about what it feels like to get sick and get sane.

BPD is rarely in the media. By writing a character whose life is lived through this lens and then subsequent remission, I want to show that this IS possible.

The epidemic of mental illness as a result of Covid has begun to bite. In sharing this story honestly it will enable others with similar backgrounds to identify and those with different backgrounds to empathise. This show is an example of story as an ‘empathy making machine’ (Joey Soloway 2016).

The impact of the ‘Troubles’ on mental health in Northern Ireland is not often discussed. This conflict continues to affect generations. The stability of the region is at risk due to Brexit. We cannot return to violence. 

 

CREATIVE TEAM

DIRECTOR

AMIE BURNS - WALKER

Amie is an actor turned director (credits include RSC, BBC).   Her performance background led her on to becoming one of the creators of the UK’s longest running immersive theatre show ‘The Great Gatsby’. Amie has  been part of Immersive Gatsby's creative team for the past 5 years, directing the West End Transfer and Korean Production.  

Amie previously directed ‘Dr Strangelove’ for Secret Cinema and was also a co -founder of The Immersive Ensemble, who are renowned for creating the groundbreaking show 'The Drop Off'.

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PRODUCER 

BECKY PLOTNEK 

Becky is a creative producer working across experimental theatre and Live Art. She is interested in work that challenges power structures, creates genuine and authentic community, and that champions marginalized voices - specifically collaborating with creatives of queer, migrant, and female or non-binary communities. Becky also created and co-produced DICE Festival, a festival of chance that gives platform to emerging artists and performers.

MOVEMENT DIRECTOR / CHOREOGRAPHER

NANCY KETTLE

Nancy is a Movement Director, Choreographer, Theatre Maker and Teacher with an expansive skill set and a commitment to finding new and potent forms of physical expression. She is an Associate Artist at the Mercury Theatre, where she is currently developing a piece of Dance Theatre entitled Dear NeverLand - inspired by J.M Barrie's Peter Pan.  She has worked on a mix of musicals (Our House- Queens Hornchurch, I Capture the Castle – Watford palace/ Bolton Octagon), plays and films

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DRAMATURG

ADAM FOSTER

As a playwright, Adam has had work performed at numerous venues including South Hill Park Arts Centre, New Wimbledon Studio, West Yorkshire Playhouse, Exeter Phoenix, the Northcott Theatre and at the Edinburgh Fringe. His play, Long Short story, was recently produced at the Pleasance Islington. His play Wood, was a smash hit at the Vault Festival in 2019 and transferred to the Omnibus Theatre, Clapham. He is a Margate resident and founder of The Margate Project, an ACE funded series of collaborative creative workshops for local artists.

MUSICAL DIRECTOR

TRISTAN PARKES

Tristan has performed, composed, designed sound and musically directed material for film, theatre, major events and television for two decades. This includes over fifteen productions for Hull Truck Theatre, multiple productions for the Edinburgh Festival, over a decade of productions for The National Youth Theatre of
Great Britain, most recently their 60th Anniversary Gala at the Shaftesbury Theatre in the West End. Tristan was a musical director on the Beijing and London Olympic Games and a composer for the British Pavilion at the World Expo’ in Shanghai. Film work includes ‘To All the Girls I’ve Loved Before’ for Channel 4 Films, ‘When Romeo Met Juliet’ for the BBC and Anna Karenina for Working Title Films.

 
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OUR JOURNEY

2020 | Solo Fest 2020 (Katzspace)  | 10 Minute Scratch

2022 | Camden People's Theatre | 40 Min Work in Progress

2022 RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT

We are thrilled to have received support from ACE and our partners in 2022 to research and develop the show along with a workshop series.  We performed at CPT (Sprint Festival) in March and audience feedback can be found here

"An excitingly honest depiction of the power of human connection told with exquisite language, stunning songs and daring vulnerability."

Haley McGee - Author of The Ex- Boyfriend Yardsale (Penguin)


 

100% OF CPT AUDIENCE ENJOYED THE PERFORMANCE

100% OF CPT AUDIENCE WANTED TO SEE A FULL VERSION OF THE SHOW

'SUPERBLY WRITTEN AND ACTED'

'INSPIRING, JOYFUL AND MOVING!'

 
 

MUSIC & DESIGN

EXPERIMENTATION

Music and movement form a vital part of the expression of this story.  We are exploring working with live illustration and drawing as part of the story.  Here are some images and collages that we have created on this journey.

  

The music will be rough in feel, with sounds created by me.  As an enthusiastic non professional music maker, this will have its own aesthetic which will add to the vibe of the show.

 
 
 
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OUTREACH

Running alongside the performance is a set of creative wellbeing workshops which reveal the creative tools and methods Suzy used in order to facilitate her recovery, enabling participants to step into greater joy and wholeness within their own lives. They are delivered by Suzy and co - facilitator/ Mental Health First Aid worker Annie Sutton.


The workshops and performance have been honed during our reseach and development period, and through our partnerships with Open School East, London Irish Centre, Power of Women, Thanet, Camden People’s Theatre, Crest E-ACT Academy and Arts Education Exchange.

 

Participant feedback on can be found here

 

The workshop is formulated to cultivate moments of care, joy and connection, infused with Irish values around the role of food & storytelling in creating communal joy.

 

Our friends:

Tinderbox Theatre Company

Kate Baiden

Lemn Sissay MBE

Ruth Willow Mariner

Haley McGee

Dr Emma Janes

Kat Woods

Alice Malseed

Theatre 503

Caroline Horton

Benn Keaveney of Mind.

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