We heart Big Brother is an exciting new theatre-based project by a team of researchers at the University of Exeter and Edinburgh, and immersive theatre company Four of Swords.

This summer, they are workshopping an adaption of George Orwell’s classic novel Nineteen Eighty-Four, which will explore questions of technological control, power and oppression in our contemporary world.  As part of this, they are interested in the similarities between seeing, hearing and thinking things other people don’t, and tech-driven forms of totalitarian control, like Big Brother.  They think this could be a great project for challenging stigma and overturning clichéd and lazy representations of people who hear, see and think things others don’t, whilst also being a playful, imaginative and thrilling piece of theatre.

They want paid collaborators to consult on the work in progress, and to take part in workshops to create the play.

They want to hear your thoughts and ideas, and then take them forward into the creative process.  All contributions will be treated with respect, dignity and seriousness, but the project itself will be fun, provocative … and paid!

Watch this video fore more information

What they are looking for:

They are looking for people with lived experience of hearing, seeing, and thinking things other people don’t, to collaborate in designing this piece of theatre.  In particular, they are interested in the similarities between forms of technological control and current AVATAR therapies for people who hear voices others don’t.  If you have experience of any of this, they want to hear from you!

Expected commitment from participants:

The workshops and discussion groups will take place in May and June in Exeter, although they can support people to join online.  The discussions will take place from 15 May, with the first three workshops potentially between 30th May and 3rd June.

First, they want to run 90 min discussions on how to represent hearing, seeing and thinking things others don’t.  These will involve 5-10 people and everyone taking part will be paid £30.  These will be online and/or in person in Exeter.  For in-person meetings, travel expenses will be paid and there will be refreshments.

Secondly, they want to include up to six people in the theatre workshops, which will be in person in Exeter.  This will involve up to six days work, paid at £150 per day.  Travel and accommodation expenses will be paid and there will be lunch at the workshops too.

Finally, they want two people to join the governing committee for the entire project.  This will involve several further meetings and making decisions on how to take the project forward into a full production.  This will be paid at £150 per day.

Commitment to inclusion:

The work is funded by the Wellcome Centre for Cultures and Environments of Health at the University of Exeter as part of its engaged research programme and they are committed to inclusivity and access.  All materials will be provided in plain English (with translations available for anyone who speaks English as an additional language).  The workshops and discussions will be in plain English too – they won’t be using academic jargon!

All in person events will be held in fully accessible venues either at the university or in central Exeter.  Timings will be built around participants and their needs.  There will be online and hybrid options available too so that no one is excluded on the basis of access needs or an impairment.

All work is paid and all expenses will be covered, so all participants should benefit financially from their work!

They want two people with lived experience on their governing committee (with two researchers and two theatre practitioners) to ensure that the entire process is open and equal and co-owned by the researchers, the public participants and theatre company.

Closing date to apply:

15th May 2023

If you apply for this study please let the organisers know that you saw it advertised through Shaping Our Lives. Thank you!

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