Storytelling that responds to living longer

Current life expectancy (UK)

We now have almost 30 years longer to live on this earth than a century ago.

So, what does this mean for us socially, politically, psychologically and physiologically?

How do we both adjust to and harness this increased time?

As a theatre company we respond to these questions through collaborative research and through storytelling that is innovative and interdisciplinary with rich and varied performance outcomes.

New work

Our programme of work for 2019-2021

ViSiBLE VOiCES

A new, large-scale performance piece

Taking our inspiration from Australian company Brink Productions’ stunning work Memorial presented at the Barbican in September 2018, ViSiBLE VOiCES is working towards a large scale performance piece to be performed by professional actors and singers alongside choruses of older non-professionals.

The development period will begin in 2019 with the gathering of stories from a diverse section of older people drawn from community choirs and other organisations. Selected elements of this verbatim material will be woven into a text to be set to music at the second development stage in 2020. Themes and a structure for the work will be allowed to evolve in response to the material gathered.

The final work, to be produced in 2021, will be imbued with the life experiences, reflections, hopes, fears and dreams of a very broad cross-section of people aged between 55 and 95, with a view to communicating the diversity, challenges and richness of later life.

The work, which is currently conceived as a type of oratorio, is to be performed by a small team of professional artists supported by a large ‘chorus’ of between fifty and a hundred older volunteers, many of whom may have contributed to the text in the first stage of story gathering.

Helen Morse, cast and musicians in Brink Productions’ Memorial in Adelaide. Photo © Shane Reid.

Dinner with Judy Chicago

Inspired by Judy Chicagos’ iconic feminist work The Dinner Party, five women form a consciousness raising group in 1979

40 years later they meet up again for the first time, against the backdrop of the #MeToo movement. How far have they departed from the feminist values they espoused as young women? What did they really feel about each other then, and what revelations emerge now ? These are some of the undercurrents that threaten to become explosive when they revisit their former selves 40 years on.

The Dinner Party installation. Judy Chicago.

The Dinner Party Thursday night potluck, Santa Monica, Califormia. Photo courtesy of The Flower Archive.

For more information on The Dinner Party see The Brooklyn Museum.

Dinner with Judy Chicago is in development 2019, production 2020.

Six Characters in Search of a Good Night’s Sleep

Currently in development is a new work by ViSiBLE exploring the challenges of sleeplessness in later age and increasingly at all ages

Sleep doctors have called it the silent epidemic, with 10% of the population now estimated as suffering from insomnia.

Writer Sonja Linden is currently collaborating with Visible Associate Artist and acclaimed director Mike Alfreds, as well as an ensemble of distinguished older actors to co-create a piece of imaginative theatre exploring sleep, dreams and sleeplessness across a single night in the life of six characters.

Click here to learn more about Linden and Alfreds on the about page. 

Diorama Theatre
DAC-Logo (2016,new,large)

Six Characters in Search of a Good Night’s Sleep is currently exploring ideas through devising processes that are kindly supported by the Diorama Arts Centre, Regents Place, London and Arts Council England. 

Research for this new work is supported by the following distinguished sleep scientists:

Professor Jim Horne

Sleep neuroscientist, Loughborough University

Professor Derk-Jan Dijk

Director of the Sleep Research Centre, University of Surrey

The Wardrobe Project: Can I Still Wear This? by Sonja Linden and company

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A site-specific verbatim piece set in a private bedroom exploring how women transition from their younger selves through the contents of their wardrobe

ViSiBLE’s innovative verbatim programme The Wardrobe Project, Can I Still Wear This?  premiered in a bedroom in North London on March 11th to mark International Women’s Day on Mother’s Day. It now continues to travel to different bedrooms accumulating stories along the way.

This dynamic show is in two-parts: one part a performance in a private bedroom and the other a conversation with audience members about how items of their own clothing have had particular significance over time.

Artistic team

Performed by Gilian Cally
Directed by Sue Lefton
Scripted by Sonja Linden

Audience responses

Thank you for creating such a stimulating evening. So interesting to see how people define themselves through attitudes to clothes, and how much those ideas influence relationships. A rich vein indeed.

I really enjoyed your event last night. It unearthed so much memory, hidden thoughts and feelings. Very powerful

Thank you for a wonderful performance. I thoroughly enjoyed the play and the discussion after.

A brilliant performance and a lovely event.

Very evocative

Wonderful event – thank you so much

Are you the next host?

We are delighted to respond to requests to host the show for your guests in the comfort of your home. Watch the video below to get more of a sense of it and contact Sonja and Claire by clicking here.

Or click here to learn more about the first stage of the project.

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