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Miray Sidhom, Assistant Artist on Contact Young Company’s most recent show Baby Fever, has kindly been sharing her insights on what happens inside the rehearsal room!

Week by week she has been giving us an exclusive behind the scenes look at the process of devising a show.

After three successful performances, Miray shares her final reflection.

The carpets are rolled. The cardboard is stripped. Baby Fever is over.

The show’s starting point was about happiness and milestones. But that’s what it was, a starting point, not a blueprint for the show we would end up creating.

If happiness has been commodified and milestones are the new currency, how can we trust either?

The initial idea sparked conversations about what society expects of us and what we expect from society. It transpired that young people felt pressured to reach certain milestones, not because of their own ambitions but because not doing so would mean failure. But society had failed us too. It promised us that university led to careers, that relationships led to marriage and that the welfare, justice and healthcare system would take care of us. But this was not the case. Baby Fever expressed a lack of trust in everything from Brexit to the water we drink and, the anxiety this creates.

    ‘In one-on-one interactions with the audience, they made themselves vulnerable, exposed…’

    Trust became what we all needed, perhaps even before happiness.

    Trust by definition cannot be bought or sold. It is authentic, its value intrinsic.

    We live in transitory times of uncertainty, where we’re more connected than ever but increasingly isolated, drifting further from intimacy and emotional awareness.

    The whole process, as with the final show itself, became an exercise in trust; questioning it, navigating it, testing it and forming it in micro-connections in the hope that it may impact our relationship with the wider world. I observed this group of young artists go from being almost strangers to sharing personal stories and performing long, synchronised movement sequences together with their eyes closed, completely trusting each other. In one-on-one interactions with the audience, they made themselves vulnerable, exposed, and invited the audience to do the same.

    Sick! Festival this year asked ‘what is the value of life? Maybe it lies in authentic expression, honest connections and understanding.

    Miray Sidhom.