“Modern life is making us lonelier, and recent research indicates that this may be the next biggest public health issue on par with obesity and substance abuse.” – Rebecca Harris, The Independent.
The Lonely Society will be Common Chorus’s next nationally touring professional theatre show, and it will tell a story that explores the mental health impacts of social isolation and loneliness. When Common Chorus make shows like this we use participatory / community theatre to understand the world of the story we are creating. This allows us to make entertaining storytelling theatre that speaks urgently and truthfully about its subject.
Our research has shown us that social isolation and loneliness is a problem that can impact the lives, either directly or indirectly, of lots of different people for lots of different reasons. The people we will work with, like the characters in our story will reflect this. They may include:
– People transitioning into retirement or who have recently retired
– Older people living alone
– People living with disability or chronic illness
– Family care givers and professional care givers
– Young adults studying away from home
– People who identify as LGBTQ+ and / or who are experiencing gender
There are a number of different ways that people can be involved:
– There will be six single session workshops where people will use their biographical experiences as inspiration to create fictional short stories about the shows characters. These will be hosted by institutions who already work with people in some way at risk.
– A community writing group where 8 – 12 people will meet regularly on Saturday afternoons through September and October to storyboard and create a spoken work storytelling piece.
– A group of 16 – 20 community performers will rehearse on Saturday afternoons through January and early February to create a community performance / showcase of the spoken word storytelling piece that we have created. This will include a Q&A session with the audience afterwards.
– Be part of the audience that follows the development of the show, and / or support our Crowdfunder Campaign.
Following this our professional artist team will shape the story that has been created into a show that we can tour nationally. This will preview at Interplay Theatre in the late spring 2019.
And yes it is possible to do both!
If you are getting involved here are some important dates for the diary:
Community Writers Group, meeting in Meanwood, Leeds, Saturdays 1.30 – 4pm. Provisional dates: September 22nd, 29th, October 6th, 13th, 20th, 27th, November 3rd and 17th.
Community Performers Group, meeting in Meanwood, Leeds, Saturdays 1.30-4pm.
Provisional rehearsal dates: January 5th, 12th, 19th, 26th, February 2nd, 9th, 16th.
Production week evenings: February 20th, 21st, 22nd, 23rd.
This project has been planned with disability access in mind. All spaces are accessible and there is a small fund to help with transport costs for those who could not otherwise attend.
If you have any questions feel free to comment below or contact the project director Simon Brewis on firstname.lastname@example.org / 07817649699