Extraordinary Bodies present Splash! at Riverside Festival this weekend

Tue 28 May 2019

Curve is delighted to be part of Splash!, a new participatory arts programme designed by a consortium of East Midlands arts organisations who have come together to improve opportunities for D/deaf, disabled and learning-disabled artists and audiences across the region.

Part of the programme includes the development of a new piece of outdoor theatre – Splash! – that will tour to five East Midlands waterway locations, including Riverside Festival this weekend, 31 May – 2 Jun.

Presented by Extraordinary Bodies, Splash! is a sensory performance event that follows Flo and her grandfather on a ‘shero’s journey’. Lost in a magical watery world full of strange sea creatures, Flo learns to take risks, gain independence and confidence, until she finally finds her way back home.

The cast of Splash! in rehearsals.
The cast of Splash! in rehearsals.

In an interactive and sonic water world, the story is told through circus, physical theatre, comedy and puppetry. The show will play around with different scales, especially through the puppets, created by puppeteer Nikki Charlesworth. There will be miniature pieces of bunraku and rod, to carnival puppets of human scale imaginatively used through performers, plus larger than life circus structures.

Yellow fish puppets from the production.
Yellow fish puppets from the production, designed by Nikki Charlesworth and Bryony McCombie Smith

The show will communicate the story through spoken word, poetry, Visual Vernacular, British Sign Language (BSL), audio description, sound boxes and audio technology for deaf audience members. An interactive soundscape surrounds the entire performance space, where audience members are seated, so everyone can be fully immersed, surrounded by texture, sound, movement and colour. A real multi-sensory experience!

Close-up of the colourful set for Splash!
The colourful set for Splash!, designed by Will Datson and Laura Guthrie.

Led by The Mighty Creatives, the Splash! consortium consists arts organisations from across the region including: Curve; Attenborough Arts Centre; Graeae Theatre Company; Canal and River Trust; Déda Derby; Lincoln Drill Hall; NEO Learning; Nottingham Playhouse; Royal and Derngate Theatre; University of Derby; and Hubbub Theatre.

Extraordinary Bodies is a collaboration between Cirque Bijou and Diverse City.

This project is funded by Arts Council England.

The cast of Splash! in rehearsals.
Richard Headon as Lance and Helen Cherry as Flo in rehearsals with the cast of Splash!