Photo: Behind the Scenes: ‘Affirmations’ at SMAG
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Hello, Danielle here, welcome to our October blog where I’ll be giving you a behind the scenes sneak peek at our upcoming event at Salford Museum & Art Gallery

The event, which is taking place on Monday 30th October, is an exploration of how we can improve access in communities, workplaces and health and social care environments.

This invite only event is an opportunity for professionals from different sectors to improve their understanding of disability discrimination.

The Rehearsal Process….

Week One

It’s great to be back in the rehearsal room, we haven’t worked on something together like this since before covid.

This week we looked at what performances we wanted to share at the event and had a read through of the scripts. We decided on Affirmations, Assessment, In Your Own Time and Help.  We looked at what changes might need to be made to each piece and just generally refreshed our memories (it’s been a while!). Refresh your memory too here.

Working together as a whole group is something we’ve all wanted for ages!

Chrissy Jones

Week Two 

This week we spent a lot of time familiarising ourselves with our movements and where we are in the space. 

We looked at videos from the last time we performed this show (we all forgot how stunning it looks!) and went through the show section by section, it all seemed to come back to everyone very quickly.  

We began our rehearsal with a warm up game of ‘I went to the theatre and I saw…’ led by myself. This was a memory game to get ourselves in the mindset for the day. This was followed by a movement game. We then started a stop/start run of Affirmations working out where people were meant to be. 

Kelly Hoye

Week Three

This week we’ve been working on setting peoples’ positions (we have maps, it’s very easy to get lost amongst the many tables!) and also getting used to having the set in it’s exact positions. 

We were joined by Anne Hornsby from Mind’s Eye who is going to be doing some audio description for us which we’re excited about! We had tech stuff up and running and we also had the mic’s out…you know we mean business when the mic’s come out! 

“Anne Hornsby joined us and observed the process to see where she could add in audio description. The day was very challenging and frustrating at times but by the afternoon it was starting to look like a show!” 

Kelly Hoye

Week Four

This week we’ve been in full-on production mode, dress rehearsals, props, tech, recordings, mapping, new movements, final touches and good times. We welcomed BSL performer, Cheryl Patricia Walker, who fit in straight away.

We’re excited to incorporate BSL in Affirmations and have it available for the other works being performed, we’ve even embedded BSL into some of the Affirmations’ movements – ANOTHER thing to remember… we love it really! 

Having Cheryl with us opened up some interesting access considerations about hearing impaired audiences which we’re looking forward to exploring further. 

Affirmations has been the focus of rehearsals with individual works being re-worked and rehearsed in and out the rehearsal room – wait until you see the newest addition to Assessment!

I really like working with the team. It’s wonderful.

Daryll Duncan

We’re excited to see how people react and feel about what we present and will share all in next month’s blog!