In Haunt

Do you ever crave a little space? Take solace in an area where you can be yourself, be alone? Many of us do. But what do we do when that aloneness becomes too much? Being alone can be a place people are scared of, just as much as it can be a place of solace. Why does it matter? These themes of aloneness, personal experience and identity will be creatively explored in a new theatre piece titled a little space; the first co-production between Gecko and Mind the Gap theatre companies. It comes to Manchester’s HOME from 12-15 February 2020.

Created by Karen Bartholomew, Rich Rusk, Charli Ward and Dan Watson, with Original Music by Dave Price and Sound Design from Mark Melville, this set to be an immersive encounter with what it means to be alone – blending physical theatre, choreography and imagery together.

By Tom Woollard

Being alone is not necessarily a negative thing and talking about it matters, yet it still seems to be a subject people shy away from. As many as one in seven people in Britain could be living alone by 2039 – according to an Office for National Statistics Report published last year[1]. Aloneness is a situation many face – some by choice or circumstance, others by isolation, others in unhappy relationships. a little space opens up room for discussion; including a number of learning disabled performers lending their insight to the themes explored on stage.

Sometimes having ‘a little space’ can be a freeing thing, yet at other times it can be unpredictable and unnerving. The piece incorporates a setting many of us can connect with – an apartment block – and follows the lives of five people; exploring how they connect and disconnect with each other. Sometimes disconnection and aloneness can occur through choice, yet at other points factors such as isolation, introspection, being afraid, may play a part.

A powerful piece of physical theatre, a little space seeks to make the ordinary extraordinary – exploring how aloneness features in our lives, and both the positives and negatives that arise.

This also marks an exciting collaboration between two theatre companies recognised for their innovation and inclusion.  Bradford-based Mind the Gap is internationally respected in terms of its methodology and working with learning disability artists and arts, whilst Gecko is an award-winning physical theatre company that has travelled the world. a little space marks their debut collaboration together.

By Tom Woollard

According to Rich Rusk of Gecko:

“It is our great pleasure to be collaborating with Mind the Gap, a company we have enormous respect and admiration for. Together we have created a piece about people; about the positives and negatives of living and being alone; the stories unfold in a space that everyone will recognise so it has given us an opportunity to really make the ordinary extraordinary, using a blend of theatre, choreography and dynamic sound design.”

Mind the Gap’s Charli Ward added:

 “Our recent productions - the critically acclaimed ZARA and Mia - each put learning disability at the heart of the story,”

a little space brings the artists’ experiences to the fore but is fundamentally about us all.”

a little space has already previewed at four venues in autumn 2019 and is now touring the UK for spring 2020. The show has been commissioned by HOME and The Place, London - both of which are staging it this year.

For tickets, visit the HOME website here

By Tom Woollard

By Emily Oldfield

Photography - by Tom Woollard

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