In Plain Sight: Review and Photo Gallery
Back in February VOICES commissioned local arts-based companies, B Arts and Rideout, to coproduce a live promenade performance based on the real lived experiences of local people. The performance, which ran for eight evenings, explored the challenges faced by people experiencing homelessness, rough sleeping, mental ill-health and substance misuse. Audiences were provided with insight and understanding of the effects of long term and multiple traumas through following the journeys of two characters, Tash and Steve.
We would like to give huge thanks to B Arts and Rideout and to all involved in producing and managing the performances. This extends to the team that provided warm, fresh food for each performance and to VOICES staff and volunteers who invested additional time to co-design, deliver, and staff each evening.
As a result of the show VOICES have been invited to present learning opportunities within North Staffs Combined Health Care Trust and we are making plans to deliver a learning programme within Dovegate Prison.
Claire Ritchie, a national consultant in trauma-informed care and psychologically informed environments attended one of the performances and commented,
“I just couldn’t stop grinning. The trauma informed buskers! It was ingenious! Inspired! I knew I was going to enjoy the evening. If you’re unfamiliar with, or slightly alarmed by, the term trauma informed care, don’t be dissuaded from seeing this interactive, emotional roller-coaster of a performance. In a hilarious, informative and well-balanced manner it explores the predicament of Tash and Steve.
Both homeless when we meet them Tash and Steve attempt to navigate the frustrating and complex systems of support we have created, which unfortunately and unintentionally often add to a person’s emotional distress. We follow them on their personal journeys and witness them becoming “angry” and “self-sabotaging” in their response to the help offered by the overwrought and well-meaning staff.
The audience, moving around the warehouse space in tandem with the captivating players and their multi-talented buskers, are asked to consider the experience and emotions of both parties; services and customers. How can we change the system? Do we even want to? Whilst pondering this question we are offered a deeply personal and revealing insight into the protagonists’ histories. Later, with food we sit in small groups and discuss our thoughts and what needs to change. Absolutely fabulous!
Everyone should see this – the public, professionals, politicians, practitioners already in the homeless field. Because we all need to understand why some people become homeless and the role psychological trauma plays in this modern-day scandal.
Without spoiling the plot let me just say having worked in the sector for 25 years plus and being familiar with the impact of psychological trauma, I was surprised at the impact “In Plain Sight” had on me. I loved it, couldn’t stop thinking about it. Well done to the writers, actors and funders; B arts and Rideout, VOICES team, volunteers who shared lived experiences and The National Lottery Community Fund. We want more!”