In 2014 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’ will use physical theatre, aerial circus and puppetry to look at my relationship with Sean and the future responsibility I will have for him.
With He Ain´t Heavy 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 in 2015 was be 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 summer we have been working away to set up Oddly Moving Circus Theatre as a conductor for our future work. In September we continued development on the show which culminated in two preview performances on the 29th of September at Trinity Bristol. During November 2016 we will be running a series of workshops in partnership with Bristol Autism Support and Circomedia.
To date He Ain’t Heavy and associated work has been created with support from by the Arts Council England, Ausform, VOLT, The Elmgrant Trust, The Trinity Centre, Circomedia, Hull Truck Theatre, The Point Eastleigh, The Invisible Circus, Yard Arts, Bristol Autism Support, Disability Arts Online.