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The CHANGE Programme from Dirliebane Theatre Company

26 Feb 2021

Platform is currently working with Dirliebane Theatre Company to get 500 resource packs to children and families attending local primary schools Oakwood and Aultmore Park.

This is the third innovative project for young audiences that we have collaborated on with the company.

Dirliebane is led by Artistic Directors Fiona Ferrier and Rachel Colles - in this interview, we speak to Rachel to learn more…

Hello Rachel! Tell us about the CHANGE Programme - what are you doing and where did the idea come from?

Thank you Matt. The CHANGE Programme is a collection of films, soundscapes, scripts and creative resources using the characters and themes from our theatre clown shows to support children and young people with their emotional literacy and health and wellbeing at a time when we can’t visit schools and venues in person. All the ideas came from our shows BIG, SPACE and BOUNCE and were tried out with children in our partner schools in Edinburgh, Fife and Perth & Kinross.

We wanted to create something funny and engaging which reflected the children and young people’s ideas, thoughts and solutions to problems and allowed them to explore and play with these themes at school and at home. We are currently working on the final aspect of the project creating emotion soundscapes for children with complex and profound multiple needs.

What has the response to the work been like?

We have had a very positive response so far with several schools using the films and resources as the basis for their teaching around health and wellbeing and lots of people watching the films. We have been very lucky that many venues and organisations have shared the work with their communities. It has been strange for us when we are so used to performing live to create something on film and not be there in the room when people watch it!

During development we sent rehearsal films to our partner schools and focus group families to gain feedback and check that they were funny!! We are currently working on different ways to get feedback and gauge the response.

Can people access the work if they would like to do so?

Absolutely. All the work is free to access. The films can be viewed on our website (www.dirliebane.org.uk) and our YouTube channel and all the resources can be downloaded from the website. We have Teachers, Parents and Children’s Activity packs and a set of original scripts to accompany the ideas in each set of films which come with design worksheets and ideas to make your own props and instruments.

Dirliebane is the Scots word for funny bone and humour is clearly very important to you and your work but what have you found to keep your spirits up over the last few months? Has anything been making you laugh and do you have any tips + recommendations you can share?

​I follow a few people on Twitter who post amazing art and photographs every day and that is something that has really helped me over the last year. I would totally recommend following Bob Servant for wry burger based humour from Broughty Ferry!! I re-watched all three series of The Detectorists which make me laugh a lot!

Like so many people I watched Schitts Creek and loved it. I also started a Family Gang WhatsApp group with my family who are spread all over the country. It has been really lovely to get updates from cousins I don’t see very often and photos from my aunties farm of piglets and ridiculous sheep!

For more information on Dirliebane Theatre Company and to access the resources mentioned above head to: www.dirliebane.org.uk

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