with Kerry Underhill
This is an old fashioned holiday snap of a family on a coach trip. Its daytime. The seats are the kind of orange check they only made in the 70s. The middle aged white lady sitting on the left, leaning against the coach window, is wearing a grey twin set and has a large medallion resting on her bosom. Her short grey hair is set in a demi wave away from her face and she appears to have been caught in the act of speaking as the photo is taken. Her eyes look accusingly back at us. The seat to the right of her is empty. Directly behind her, their arms crossed over the back of her seat, is a white child about 8 years old. They occupy the top and middle of the picture and behind them, through the coach window, you can see a motorway barrier and a flash of some double yellow lines. Their messy blond hair is swept across their forehead and they bury their chin in the arms of their thick blue handknitted jumper, staring at the camera with dark eyes. A half smile sits on their lips. Next to the child, to the right of the picture sits a dapper middle aged white man in a bright white fluffy turtle neck sweater. His salt and pepper thinning hair is swept back over his head and he wears the kind of sunglasses you might imagine Sammy Davis Junior to have worn in the mid 70s. His expression is hard to read - maybe he is about to smile ? In the seat behind him you can just see a white haired man who’s head has dropped forwards in sleep.
In 2022 we worked with disability and welfare rights activist Kerry Underhill to make a new live online show “MYSTERY TRIP”
On three consecutive Saturdays in March our Digital bus offered audiences a unique live mystery trip – each one stopping at a series of surprise destinations. All from the comfort of their own homes.
Working with composers Jon Mcleod & Anna Clock, technologist Jason Crouch and video designer Andrew Crofts we created an epic digital excursion, devised with and featuring people confined to their homes due to chronic physical or mental health conditions. The aim was that the experience was accessible to, and able to include, anyone who wanted to come along. We had a live palentypist, Audio describer and BSL interpreter on board the bus.
We stopped off at exciting places, met amazing people, joined in wild experiences, fought over the back seat, ate our sandwiches and inevitably left someone behind at the petrol station.
Audiences were requested to bring sunglasses, a spoon and a snack of their choice.
The wearing of dressing gowns was encouraged.
The show evolved over the 3 weeks and so we recommend you watch the second or final week’s trip first - but they are all here for anyone who wants to relive their experience or see the other amazing places we stopped and the wonderful people we met.
The bus departed :
sat 5th march @ 2.30pm GMT
sat 12th march @ 8pm GMT
sat 19th march @ 2.30pm GMT
Tomorrow we will be talking about 'Mystery Trip' as part of the Lowry's LIVE NOW Festival - 3 days of free online and in-person talks, workshops and events exploring different approaches to making digital performances using new technologies and online platforms.
The programme focuses on 9 new projects developed as part of The Lowry's LIVE NOW digital commissioning programme last year, with an exciting line-up of award-winning artists and companies including Swamp Motel, Dante or Die and Yewande 103.
It starts at 11am on Wednesday 25th January - when Louise and Kerry will be joining Access All Areas to discuss CREATING ACCESSIBLE AND DISABILITY-LED DIGITAL PERFORMANCE WORK. On Thursday at 10am Louise will be on a panel with digital maestro Jason Crouch exploring CREATING DIGITAL STAGES with Limbik Theatre and Leo & Hyde and then at 4pm we are running a workshop sharing some tips on how to make a live mystery trip on zoom.
The Festival runs until Friday 27th.
Everything is free !!!
Mystery Trip was a commission from the Lowry Theatre in Manchester’s ‘Live Now’ Digital season of work - which questioned what will happen to online work now theatres have reopened. It was supported by Arts Council England through The National Lottery.