Socially-engaged arts organisation Effervescent came to us in September 2012 with plans for something big. They were working with the National Marine Aquarium, Plymouth and a group of disadvantaged young people to create a live show like no other.
Featuring underwater performance in the Aquarium’s Eddystone Reef tank, Effervescent wanted to work with the young people to devise, produce and perform a show which reimagined traditional fairytales and encouraged participants to build confidence and emotional resilience. And they wanted us to write the script.
We jumped at the chance.
Starting with a series of intensive workshops, we supported the young people to explore themes, imagery and personal experiences, uncovering a universal truth to focus on. From here we used games, role play, prop making, improvisation and storytelling to map out the story world, construct characters and produce a cohesive story design.
We also worked closely with Effervescent’s production team, including the director, set designer and choreographer, as well as with the National Marine Aquarium’s education team to ensure the narrative would not only captivate audiences, but would peak their interest in marine science and biology too.
“We worked with young people to devise a show which reimagined traditional fairytales and encouraged participants to build confidence and emotional resilience.”
Based on site at the Aquarium, we worked with the young producers to understand the performance space and how it could be maximised to establish an authentic story world for our characters. From the gargantuan aquarium tank wall to the balconies and galleries, we fleshed out the bones of the story to ensure audiences were immersed in our village of ‘Beware’ and the experiences of ‘Rapunzel’, ‘Jack’ and ‘Thyme’ from the moment they arrived.
Taking the story design as our blueprint, we then went away and wrote the script, incorporating iambic rhythm, song, aerial performance, free diving and a dose of key stage 2 science, into the story.
Thrilled with the result, Effervescent is now working with professional actors to turn The Fish Hearted Bride script into a spine-tingling show, set to wow audiences from the 13th – 17th February 2013.
We can’t wait to see it.