In September I had the pleasure of directing a two week programme of theatre for Raging Calm productions with those in recovery from addiction at the St Mungo’s Centre in Clapham.
By finding common ground & sharing personal experiences the group created imaginary characters, which were both detailed & authentic. When we put them in imaginary situations they instinctively knew how their characters would behave and we were able to create improvised scenes.
It was an honour to be invited into the lives of those who have struggled and to be given the chance to open doors into rooms which might otherwise be closed. We all found magical moments many times over the two weeks and drama became a tool for transformation garnering respect for those rebuilding their lives with new experiences of success and praise.
We devised a performance that took place at St Mungo’s in Clapham to an audience of family, friends, service providers and even the odd VIP. It was a wonderful evening and I was greatly moved by the courage and commitment of those who took part. For me though the experience was about much more than just the final performance
The Arts and Theatre has a vital role to play. As theatre artists using the potential and power of the theatre we have a role in educating policy makers, professionals and the general public. By encouraging debate about the issues raised we can challenge the stigma which surrounds those in recovery as they try to rebuild their lives.