Hazel Darwin-Edwards at The Byre Theatre
Artists also part of the Inspire Project were:
Katy Wilson | Tramway Glasgow
Sacha Kyle | Carnegie Hall/Lochgelly Centre, Fife
Matt Addicott | Platofrm, Glasgow
The artists worked amongst their local communities, in nurseries, parent and toddler groups and in venues, gathering information, observing play and responding by delivering and creating works in progress.
Alongside this work, Strathclyde University Department of Education were commissioned to undertake an action research programme. Each artist had a researcher dedicated to their residency, looking into the effects of their work on early year’s audiences. The research was published at the end of the project with key findings presented at the Starcatchers International Symposium. Go to the evaluation page to read the report Live Art – Arts Alive.
Hazel worked with nurseries in the local area to try out ideas, watch how children play and interact with their surroundings and see how little ones react to different art forms. All this research culminated in Hazel’s first performances Round in Circles, which opened on 30 June.
Especially designed for babies and toddlers aged 1-3, Round in Circles immerses them in a world where everything is circular. Performance mixed in with time to play holds the audience captivated as Hazel introduces characters and acts out their journeys. With a beautiful score of live music composed and played by Nik Paget-Tomlinson, magical shadows and spinning tops, Round in Circles is an experience you will not want to miss.
Hoops and loops and spinning discs
Spotlights, drums and surprising sounds
A bowl that sings in a circle world
Where everything is round and round
Be part of a loopy journey where you can imagine, watch and play.
Hazel set out to explore new ways of bringing creativity into the crèche, using extended in-role improvisation, principles of naive play and a child-led narrative. In other words she and the group made a spaceship, dressed up and pretended to be aliens living in the crèche with children aged 0-4 for a week to see what the response would be and to listen to their suggestions to move the story on.
Elf Experiment was an exploratory performance workshop which visited nurseries across East Glasgow. Created by Matt Addicott and Hazel Darwin-Edwards and incorporating other performers and musicians, it allowed the artists to draw on the responses of the children to inform the development of the workshops.
The Attic, created and performed by some of Scotland’s finest talent, explores the relationship between a young girl, Lucy, and her Grandmother, as they rummage through suitcases and boxes up the dusty attic.
The experience begins in the foyer of the Byre Theatre, as we invite our young audience to duck and dive through a woolly installation, climbing through wool spider webs and dodging giant pom- poms, before climbing the stairs to the attic where they will meet Grandma and Lucy, a girl at the beginning of her life and a woman nearing the end of hers.
The Attic is a magical place where hidden treasures come to life as the imagination of the two characters come together. Set to a live original piano score, with a chance to take tea and a chance to dance, The Attic invites little ones and their carers to watch and join in the story.