If I Say Jump – A Recovery Story
If I Say Jump – A Recovery Story
If I Say Jump is a new theatre show by Common Chorus theatre company. Danny, one of the two lead characters, is an addict who is nearly a year into his recovery journey.
At it’s heart ‘If I Say Jump’ is a about the same search for peace and wellbeing that is central to any recovery story. What it is not about is the chaos of addiction, or substance abuse. When we set out to make the show we were already aware of many dramatisations, of varying quality, that explore the spiral towards rock bottom. What we found much more interesting was the change in the mindset that comes with recovery, and then how that mindset is sustained day by day. Our hope is that this is a more original take on a recovery story, and potentially one that is more useful to those who are now practising recovery in the world day to day.
To make a full disclosure, no actors in the show, or people in the core writing team, are addicts or in recovery themselves. So, why are we making this, and who are we to make it? Well, our journey began several years ago when a worker at Spacious Places recovery centre in Leeds approached us about making a community performance with their clients. Spacious Places is an abstinence-based day treatment centre, and our team worked with their clients over the course of two years to make two shows that the clients themselves performed for a recovery community audience. Following on from this, our team of professional actors and writers shaped the stories that the clients had volunteered to us into a full length theatre show that we could tour, called Drink With a Chimp. This travelled mostly to recovery spaces in Yorkshire. To see a short video about our work with Spacious Place click here
Whilst working on this project, a funny thing happened. We found ourselves using the language of recovery as we talked to each other about the day to day stresses and strains of making and touring the show. Before long, it became clear to us that we had internalised many of the lessons and strategies that the Spacious Places clients had been using, and it had helped all of us become more resilient, mentally healthy and peaceful people in our day to day lives. So when it came time to think about our next show we realised that we were not done with recovery stories, but this time we wanted to tell a recovery story from a different angle.
We wondered if we could make story about someone who is not an addict, however they do have significant work to do on themselves and their own mental health before they can find peace. They will be helped along the way by someone who is an addict in recovery, who becomes a role model of sorts. So, If I Say Jump was born. It is a fast paced and comic story about a Vicar and her best friend, who just so happens to be a recovering alcoholic, who with the best of intentions get themselves into a right pickle with a rogue gun, a dodgy builder and a car full of flowers. It is also a sort of Western… set in Barnsley. It confronts the unexpected consequences of the snap decisions we make when things get stressful, and it is for anyone who ever asked themselves “why on earth did I just do that?”
We want to encourage people from the recovery community to come and see it, and let us know what you make of it. We have asked a number of venues on the tour if we can get a ticket deal to bring prices down for people in recovery. Below is a list venues on the tour and information about how you can access cheaper tickets. This list will continue to be updated.
Thur 15 – Sat 17 March, Carriageworks Theatre, Leeds – See Interplay on May 10th.
Thur 22 March, Waterside Arts Centre, Sale – £5 ticket code #ActiveRecovery, Phone Box Office (01619125616)
Fri 23 March, The Witham, Barnard Castle – Reduced ticket code coming soon.
Wed 28 March, CAST, Doncaster – £5 tickets with code: RECOVERY
Thur 29 March, Square Chapel, Halifax – Pay What You Decide, no code needed.
Wed 11th April, Harrogate Theatre
Thur 19 April, Arts Centre Washington
Fri 20 April, Helmsley Arts Centre
Tue 8 May, The Old Town Hall, Hemel Hempstead
Thur 10 May, Interplay Theatre, Leeds
Sat 12 May, The Civic, Barnsley