ARU Magic Me - ARCH Project - Dare To Imagine

Full Report 21 Lime Court and Gecko Our journey In 2019 Magic Me approached Gecko with the provocation of a long project, working in partnership with Lime Court in Dovercourt, Essex. Our process is regularly studied by students across the globe and as such we regularly deliver in schools. However, working in this way with this demographic was not something we had vast experience in, and we were excited by the opportunity. We were particularly inspired by the prospect of taking our well-established methodology into a care home setting, with time and resource to be able to build authentic relationships and to co-create the artists’ residencies project and journey. The project began in the Autumn, with a series of ‘meet and greet’ sessions for families, friends and loved ones to talk about our work and to help them understand the project aims. To see our work in action, we screened our digital production The Time of Your Life. We led training in the ‘Gecko way’ for staff, then, over the course of two weeks, we delivered creative workshops, to begin building relationships and test working with ideas of movement, touch and stimulation. In March 2020 the Covid-19 pandemic halted our engagement with Lime Court, as they coped with this national crisis. Further into the lockdown, staff reached out in need of some fun, energy, and happiness, and in April 2021 we developed a regular interactive session exploring music and movement over Zoom, which was beamed into their lounge area. We also built in one-to-one Zoom conversations to get to know the residents’ lives, passions and experiences more personally. In September 2021 we began our second R&D phase where, due to continuing restrictions, we built an outdoor stage area in the garden, adorned with wonderful props and costumes. Over the course of two weeks, we captured this playful exploration on film, galvanizing our decision to create an artistically elevated piece of film theatre for the residency phase: ‘STILL’. STILL STILL was created in May 2022. The film was artistically led by Associate Director Helen Baggett and Devising Performer Miguel Torres Umba, who devised a storyboard to take viewers on an emotional journey through different worlds inspired by the residents. Their concept was brought to life with Technical Stage Manager Jake Channon designing and building our very own film studio