Most Things Are Quiet
"Can you see me? I'm the one in the gap..."
'Most Things Are Quiet' was borne out of personal experience of suicide and during our creative process we discovered that the creative team had many connections to the themes and issues around suicide. Collaboration is a key feature of our process as theatre makers and we approached Papyrus, a leading organisation in the prevention of young suicide, to help us further understand the the subject and what the piece needed to say or perhaps more importantly ask of its audience. We spoke to Tony Harrison who told us about his daughter Vicky and interviewed young people at St Helen's College about their experience of mental health. Through detailed and considered research and conversations it became clear that societies understanding of suicide, the treatment of people affected by suicide and the language that we collectively use about suicide are all parts of the script that needs changing. Our inability to talk openly about suicide was something that everyone agreed was a hindrance to changing attitudes. This became the focus of our piece.
Suicide affects more people than most probably realise. Suicide being the biggest killer of people under the age of 35 is itself a shocking statistic that many aren't aware of. As we discussed the piece with people and carried out tech rehearsals, strangers would approach us to enquire what on earth we were doing! People wearing headphones in a busy city centre is now commonplace, but a small group of people wearing headphones and following someone through the streets attracts attention! Many people we spoke to had their own stories to share about how suicide had affected them, and all commented on how what we were doing was important in that it was creating opportunity to discuss the subject openly. Our inability to talk openly about suicide was something that everyone agreed was a hindrance to changing attitudes.
'Most Things Are Quiet' invited four audience members at a time to follow a young man through the streets of Liverpool, listening via silent disco headphones to a live mixed soundscape of the young man's thoughts and memories. A slightly adjusted participatory version for 50 young people at a time was also created. Beautiful writing by Stuart Crowther, which was based on his own testimony and experience of suicide, was mixed with moments of one-to-one live performance and immersive sound design to create an experience that allowed the audience to reflect on their own attitudes, the language they use and how they can help change the script we collectively use when faced with this tragic subject.
Video by Fully Formed Films http://fullyformedfilms.com/
Photography by Chris Currie