Contact Young Company are currently working on the first of two exciting co-productions, Ramping Up, in collaboration with Battersea Arts Centre’s Homegrown Company.
Bonnie Schwarz, Assistant Artist on the the show, shares some thoughtful reflections on the process so far, getting started, meeting new people and thinking about access.
Listen to Bonnie’s reflections in the audio clips, or read the transcripts of the conversations below.
Thoughts at the beginning of the week ‘Hows it going?’
Chinedu – ‘Yeah it’s been awesome’
Mia K – ‘Yeah it’s really exciting’
Kofi – ‘I think it’s going great’
Cherry – ‘Really fun just kind of meeting new people’
Rory – ‘New friends from the north’
Mia K – ‘throwing us all together and seeing what happens’
Brogan – ‘yeah I think we’re still very much in like the playful stages of it, so we’re playing games, getting to know each other, just devising things and going, ‘oh cool that works, that doesn’t work’ just move on and create something new’
Naomi – ‘We’ve had workshops as well, right now we’re just exploring what can go into the production’
Mia G – ‘Start working on little sequences that we can piece together’
Mia K – ‘Some of the early work is actually going to be really important for the development of the show’
Chinedu – ‘Looking at things from scratch and developing it and taking it to new places we wouldn’t expect it to’
Mia G – ‘Playing in the space, feeling comfortable’
Marla – ‘making things and being able to develop our ideas and also be in a safe space in which we can talk about important issues and personal issues as well’
Rory – ‘and tell the story about my disability and tell the story about why I cannot have a support worker no more’
Mia G – ‘Working on stuff that is quite difficult, but we’re finding ways to sort of negotiate that and to work it out’
Kofi – ‘I’m really enjoying it’
Thinking about Access
Naomi – ‘well, my profession is a learning disability nurse and accessibility and access to things is what we’re trained for. How to help support an individual with a disability and ensure that they have the same opportunities as somebody who doesn’t have a disability’
Mia K – ‘It’s really challenging, but it’s good, like in a really good way’
Martha – ‘It was something I didn’t really know much about. A whole different way of like how the world works, if that makes sense? But I just didn’t know anything about the social model of disability’
Cherry – ‘and I think It’s a topic that most able-bodied people don’t think about’
Brogan – ‘Yeah, I think it’s a really daunting topic as well. Things should be more accessible but how does that happen? How do you make a show really accessible, how do you talk about accessibility in a gentle way but also put a point across? Accessibility, it is a disability or is it about financial issues? Is it about all these other topics that also could as accessibility? And sort of broadening the definition of that which has been really interesting to get into.’
Marla – ‘Look at the varying ideas of what access means to different people, so not just access for people with impairments but also access to information etc’
Naomi – ‘It’s interesting looking at access and looking at how we can put that in production. What pieces of information are necessary to get across? How do we be accessible but not overstimulate anyone with the amount of accessibility in it? Right now it’s just fun looking at scenes that could be accessible and like watching productions and taking away things that they’ve done and how they’ve worked it out.’
Kofi – ‘Like, I think its really interesting especially with Brexit round the corner, and talking about marginalised people. As a disabled person myself, it would be interesting to see how these changes will come when Brexit comes in fruition. Representation as well, to talk about something that’s very rarely talked about in certain communities, especially my community, disability is very taboo so..’
CYC + BAC HOMEGROWN COMPANY: RAMPING UP
The Bread Shed
Fri 3 + Sat 4 May
This cross-city cohort will collaborate with David Cumming (Kill the Beast) and Jess Thom (Touretteshero) to explore issues around accessibility in a post-Brexit society.