| Niamh Hicks

Week 2 of our online workshops: we hear from our participants

We’re into our second week now of working out how and whether we can involve people in making theatre in their homes. 

This week we were joined by the brilliant sound designer Melanie Wilson who set a creative challenge for people in our network. It involved listening to the sounds around them at home and then creating a sound piece that said something about what was going on for them. 

If you are interested in doing the challenge yourself you can watch Melanie’s video here or download the challenge in written form here. If you work in theatre, feel free to use or adapt these and let us know how you get on with them. 

Jodie and Nick from our online core creative group have written a bit about their experience of the workshops so far. Over to them. I hope you’re keeping safe and well – Naomi

Jodie

I’ve been a Brightonian for 7 years now. I used to visit and love the place and always thought I’d like to live here one day.  I’ve been involved with BPT for about 6 months. In my day to day life, I manage a homeless hostel full time, but I secretly love creating performances I just wish I had more time. I did some of this at uni and before at college. It helped me to find different confidence and it’s something I want to continue as much as possible, which is why I am involved in BPT.

When I saw that there was an opportunity to meet with the BPT group to continue to create work together, I snapped it up and spent all week looking forward to coming together again virtually. It warmed my heart to be reconnected with everyone. It made me realise how much I was missing the weekly workshops and how far we had already come as a group.

We spent a little time updating everyone with how we were doing. I heard about gardening projects, family time, creative projects, and all sorts of other interesting stories; it was great getting to know everyone that little bit more. There were inevitably technical difficulties at times but the patience the group gave to each other was like those that have been friends for years.

We played a fun name and gesture game, sang along to a song, and danced around. It was really good fun and made me giggle watching everyone let go and be in the moment. We were set a creative challenge to write a monologue, which I cannot wait to get started on! I really enjoyed the online workshop, and as much as I miss being together in person, these workshops are so important even more so now we are physically disconnected.

It really highlights how important human connection is and kindness to others. I will never again take for granted sharing a pack of biscuits in a workshop! A big thank you to Naomi, Luan, and the BPT team for continuing the workshops. They mean so much to people.

Nick

I grew up in Brighton from the age of 10 and have been here ever since. I love it here. I’d never done any theatre before I started with BPT last year, and joining has been the best decision. It’s the most fun I’ve had in ages.

I’m not naturally an extrovert person and you really don’t have to be. The wonderful people and atmosphere at BPT gives me a space to be creative and just have fun.

After signing up for the Sound Design workshop with Melanie Wilson, I wasn’t sure how I would cope with something that at first glance appeared to be ‘a little out there’. How wrong could I be? We were given a list of four exercises and could do as many or as few as we liked. I created a two-minute soundtrack of the ‘experience of my life as it is right now’ using everyday objects in my house. This was my chance to make a completely unique piece of music, or dare I say… sound art!

Scrunching paper, bursting balloons, banging pan lids together, and hitting bedroom doors with wooden spoons filled my day for the next four hours. I realised there was no right or wrong in the making of my soundtrack. I was the creator, director, editor, and everything in between.

In short and by no way an exhaustive list, here are just some of the things that I realised:

  • Spending time being creative can be fun.
  • Sound is integral to our lives, whether we realise it or not as it weaves a thread sometimes seemingly invisibly.
  • Sound fills our lives and we put meaning to these sounds and they affect us in all different ways.
  • And also, just how interesting little pieces of ‘sound theatre’ can be, to explore and to make, with just a few everyday household objects.

I thoroughly enjoyed myself and would highly recommend letting loose and investigating some of Melanie Wilson’s online creative ideas with sound. You never know what creative masterpieces you may have lurking within.