Wednesday afternoon was an exciting day for Bubble and its Creative Homes project. Nine women from sheltered accommodations Frank Whymark and Ronald Buckingham shared scratch performances as part of Bubble’s Creativity and Wellbeing week.
The session began with a collective warm up, a beautiful chaotic hum and an unrehearsed chorus of Bella Mama. Then Creative Homes showed their work of, two beautifully choreographed hand dances and a presentation of wayward characters living in Queen Square.
The idea of elders performing on stage is interesting, what they chose to perform is intriguing. The performers presented cheekiness, courage, lust, coyness, confidence, desire. They did not present vulnerable, frail, dependent old people nostalgically wishing to be young again. The words, movements, feelings were from the groups personal history; what they have done, what they feel, what they hope for. There is vulnerability within the group, two performers were taken to hospital the morning of the performance but there is also laughter, friendship, joy.
After the performance there was a discussion between the audience and performers. Artists Simon Startin and Julia Voce were asked to talk about their experience of working with the group. Simon said; working with Creative Homes was no different than working with other groups. He uses techniques to draw stories out of people but the ways of working vary depending on the individuals that form the group.
The performers were asked how does performing, being part of Creative Homes make you feel Mary said “l’ll sum it up for you from all of us. They call us coffin dodgers but for 2 hours a week I don’t feel like a coffin dodger”.