First Class Performance Without A Word

Ramesh Performing This Side Up

Ramesh Performing This Side Up

Not a word was spoken yet the audience was captivated.

Ramesh Meyyappan, the Glasgow-based, theatre practitioner, gave two performances of his hilarious sketch – This Side Up – in Central Library, Victoria Square, St Helens.

Owen from the Arts Service and Ramesh finger-spell their way through the technicalities of turning Central Library into a performance space

Owen from the Arts Service and Ramesh finger-spell their way through the technicalities of turning Central Library into a performance space

The sketch sees Ramesh playing a series of characters including a postman, squirrel and even the postman’s worst nightmare – a growling dog – which takes its toll on Ramesh’s trousers!

For the past ten years Ramesh’s solo performances and collaborations have toured nationally and internationally to much acclaim and it’s easy to see why.

The audience, which included deaf and hard of hearing people, lapped up the hour -long performance which played in the afternoon and early evening. Ramesh’s facial expression and unique mix of physical and visual theatrical styles are a delight to watch and communicate the script to excellent effect.

Is this a squirrel I see before me?

Is this a squirrel I see before me?

Masks Social Group

Dot and Irene - on the platform having safely arrived at Lime Street

Dot and Irene – on the platform having safely arrived at Lime Street

The recently formed Masks social group enjoyed an afternoon trip to the Tate and Bluecoat  in Liverpool.

The group was formed to improve the health and well-being of adults by providing the opportunity for people to socialise whilst visiting high quality arts. The trips offer a welcome break from the daily routine. Some members already have an interest in visiting galleries and theatre whilst others just fancied trying something new, meeting new people and getting out and about.

Double exposure: The Mask group photographed in a glass structure at the Bluecoat giving a holographic feel

Double exposure: The Mask group photographed in a glass structure at the Bluecoat giving a holographic feel

Having travelled together by train from St. Helens Central, the group enjoyed aspects of the Liverpool Biennial arts festival.

Little Voice wows LD group

The latest Learning Difficulties group to visit theatre land was treated to a famous cast and a tremendous performance of the award-winning, West End comedy, The Rise and Fall of Little Voice.

The group left Stephenson Resource Centre for Blackpool’s Grand Theatre by coach before settling down to see some familiar faces in the cast including Coronation Street’s Beverley Callard, Ray Quinn of Dirty Dancing, Grease and Legally Blonde and Duggie Brown of the Comedians. The play introduced the sensational singing talents of relative newcomer, Jess Robinson in the title role of Little Voice.

For some in the group, the visit marked a first theatre outing and the Grand Theatre, built in 1896, provided an exciting backdrop with its ornate chandeliers and magnificent Victorian architecture.

No trip to Blackpool is ever complete without a portion of fish and chips so, en route back to Stephenson’s the coach driver ‘found a chippy’ and the group tucked in!

Participants From The Learning Disabilities Group get ready for Little Voice.

Participants From The Learning Disabilities Group get ready for Little Voice.

Welcome to ‘Other Ways Of Telling’

Collective Encounters are running an arts project using music, writing and drama to create a performance early next year. It’s aimed at anyone who finds it hard to get opportunities to participate in the arts. It’s open to anyone, regardless of previous experience, ability or confidence, and the first sessions we run will be aimed at building confidence and trying out simple techniques, so we hope they will be enjoyable. You’re welcome to come and find out whether the project is for you, you don’t have to commit to coming to every session, and it’s not necessary to be committed to performing to participate in the workshops.

The sessions began on Friday 16th November at Thatto Heath Library, and are running every Friday from then (except the 14th and 21st December). The Library is small and friendly, and is easily reached by train and bus, and we can cover travel expenses where necessary. The sessions begin at 1.30 and runs until 3, but people are welcome to come at 1 for tea, coffee and biscuits. New members are welcome.

We’ll also be running some creative music sessions at the Central Library – these will be starting on Wednesday, December 5th, from 5.30 to 7.30.

For more details about any aspect of this project please contact Aidan on aidan@collective-encounters.org.uk, or look us up on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/OtherWaysOfTelling

An Ideal World….writing from Other Ways Of Telling

We all walk around in tiger-striped skin
Then we’re all happy in the skin we are in
None disadvantaged and we all get stuck in
No mental illness, no bullying
All people everywhere, joined
In an unbroken ring
Helping each other, one family
All have what they need and no-one has more
None of the children ever get bored
No politicians, no random greed
When all are equal, we all take heed

I think there should be more peace in the world,
Make love not war
More diversing, more equality to eradicate bullying
Stamp out stigma against mental health
We all bleed red, no racism
There is only one race, the human race
Less politicians, more understanding people
Encourage more people to have more respect for animals, birds…etc…
Less violence on the streets, more bobbies on the beat
The politicians need to shape up or ship out
Love hate, don’t hate love – love one another as brothers and sisters