Considering The Nature of Why at Kneehigh Asylum

Upon walking into Kneehigh Theatre’s Asylum space, set up for this summer on Carlyon Bay in St. Austell, I wasn’t sure what to expect from The Nature of Why. In keeping with the enigmatic title of the performance, I had not been able to glean much beforehand.

Conductor Charles Hazlewood’s opening words gave audience members limited insight into what we were about to witness, but invited us to get curious about the show in which we were suddenly immersed.

‘Have you ever wondered what a bass clarinet smells like as it’s being played?’

At the heart of this immersive experience lies an understated sense of spectacle. I found myself utterly fascinated by the ability to experience the performance in close proximity, and yet there was so much happening at the same time. I wanted to examine it from every angle at once, but the limitations of time and space wouldn’t allow me.

It seems that The Nature of Why is a metaphor for life – appreciate as much as you can, and don’t worry about the things that pass you by. I have attended a number of musical performances, although admittedly few classical concerts, and I was absolutely blown away by the union between musicians and instruments.

Members of The British Paraorchestra all have some form of disability or impairment, and The Nature of Why is certainly one of their most ambitious projects to date. Witnessing the performance was a privilege, which opened my eyes anew to the creative possibilities all around us.

The Nature of Why is in itself a celebration of the most important question we ask as human beings. Often, it’s the first question we ask…and the show just goes to demonstrate that as long as we never stop asking why, life never gets boring.

Finding the story I want to tell…

A pile of notebooks in various colours and sizes, arranged haphazardly in a cupboard under some stairs.

Photo by Simson Petrol on Unsplash

 

Through my work with my colleagues and students at The Writers’ Block, I feel as though I am entering a new creative phase. The opportunities to which I have access are helping me grow as a facilitator and also as a creative practitioner. Continue reading

Everything is Practice

I am really enjoying blogging again, knee deep though I am in work that I cannot yet share. I recently had the pleasure of a Burst into Bloom coaching session with Mary Lunnen, whose work has inspired me since I first attended a workshop with her a couple of years ago at a local Mind, Body and Spirit event. Continue reading

Coming into Community: She Howls Open Mic

Last Thursday, I had the pleasure of being an audience member for the second She Howls online open mic night for female authors.

Even if only as an audience member, being part of groups such as these is an integral part of me returning to my craft.

Bearing witness to the strength and power in these women’s words underlined the importance of being able to speak things into submission. Guest poet Jhilmil Breckenridge said it best when she asserted ‘Writing can set you free.’

I’ve seen it in my practice, and more recently railed against it – as beautiful as the process can be, there is no denying the ache that comes with it.

To be fully human is to be vulnerable…and to use vulnerability well is a gift, which every one of those who read on Thursday night had in spades.

I am already eagerly anticipating the next event in September, within which I hope to be able to share in the magic of others’ words, and perhaps add some of my own.

For further information, please visit Dal Kular’s website.

A Partial Return

It’s been nearly a month since my last post. During that time, I have completed and submitted my final project for my MA in Professional Writing at Falmouth University. As usual, I have had little time to get any other writing done, so I haven’t been posting here. I have tentative plans to take part in NaNoWriMo in November, but my posts may be sporadic until then.

I am still recovering from the intensity of the final weeks of my MA, as well as a couple of impeccably timed unfortunate incidents. I am well, but still trying to get back to where I was previously.

 

In Celebration of Friendship

Have you ever been moved or changed by a friend? I know I have. I’ve written before of the blessing it was (and remains) to know Chris Thomas. Our nightly chats about George Harrison and the other Beatles, and many more unconventional aspects of life brought great joy to my days.

My life is no memorial to her, but I live the way I do in part thanks to her example of how to face difficult circumstances. Tomorrow would be her 48th birthday, and although I will mark it in my own way, I thought it might be nice to spearhead something that others could take part in.

Without further ado, I present the ‘Birthday Love Blast for Chris‘. One simple random act of kindness is all it takes to be part of this event. It doesn’t have to be grand, and truly random acts of kindness often aren’t.

Feel free to spread the word among your connections on Facebook and Twitter (preferably using the hashtag #LoveBlast4Chris) and let’s get as many people as possible involved to spread the joy of friendship and love.

Chris stands beside John Lennon's piano in England, c.1982

15-year-old Chris stands beside John Lennon’s piano in England, c.1982