Last year I decided to take the plunge and make my first solo show. Most of my ideas centred on my little brother Sean who has severe learning disabilities and autism. What started this was being asked by an audition application to write a short story, so I wrote about ‘The Christmas I nearly killed my brother’ (by accident). This is part of my collection of stories centring on usual experiences based around Sean, which I am now aware are not entirely normal.
‘He Ain’t Heavy’ uses physical theatre, aerial circus and puppetry to look at my relationship with Sean and the future responsibility I will have for him.
With this project I hope to reach out to other siblings of people with special needs and autism, to raise awareness about the established groups and support networks out there and to give an insight into some of my experiences for those who don’t know someone with special needs.
The outcome of the first development phase was in 2015 and performed as a scratch performance at Circomedia during the Circus City festival as part of the event VOLT: Women in Circus produced by Ausform in partnership with Circomedia. Read a review from Lucy Loves Circus here.
This was followed in 2016 by a full-length work in progress performance at The Trinity Centre Bristol.
The completed piece was premiered at Hull Truck Theatre in October 2017, before going on a short tour to The Trinity Centre Bristol as part of Bristol Circus City festival, Jacksons Lane London and The Lowry Salford. This was accompanied by circus and theatre workshops in S.E.N. schools, youth groups and delivered in some venues, alongside relaxed performances in every venue.
Oddly Moving is produced by Turtle Key Arts.
He Ain’t Heavy has been created with support from by the Arts Council England, Hull City Council, Turtle Key Arts, The Elmgrant Trust, The Point Eastleigh, Hull Truck Theatre, The Trinity Centre, Bristol Autism Support, Jacksons Lane, Pavillion Dance Southwest, Ausform, Circomedia and Invisible Circus,