Today is #SmallCharityBigImpactDay as part of Small Charity Week 2021 and we thought we’d take the opportunity to share some of our impact over the 12 months. The last year has been a year of pivoting, growing, creating, an abundance of adventure, learning to get comfortable with discomfort and expecting the unexpected.
Mortal Fools’ purpose is to support people to have better interpersonal relationships with one another and we do that through theatre and drama. Our work became even more important during a year when COVID forced us to physically distance from one another.
We are so proud of our team for the ingenuity and resilience they’ve shown, and for the positive impact we’ve collectively been able to make to young people and freelance artists in Northumberland and beyond, who really needed us to be there for them.
You can download out End Of Year Summary HERE – it’s full of some of our all important impact numbers.
You can also experience some of the work we’ve created across the last 12 months with young people and professional artists:
When The World Is Loud – our audio theatre experience is still available to access for FREE. We’ve had over 1000 listeners so far and it is perfect for the Summer days ahead, so give it a listen. Find out more HERE.
Melva Mapletree and the Quest for Barnabas Boggle - our online, interactive storytelling Melva game to support children’s mental health is NOW available to families, schools and community groups. Find out more HERE!
Let Us Tell You – our new creative film project is available to watch now. This is a coming together of young people’s powerful voices on film and an invitation to step inside their thought provoking and sometimes imaginary worlds. You can watch the two films HERE and download the free resource to use with young people HERE.
CONNECT – We’ve been delivering our professional and personal development programme and training for individuals, teams and businesses to thousands of people. You can find out more HERE.
And we’ve got so much more to come! We are ready to step into the next year, stronger, wiser and forever changed.
You can follow us on social to keep up to date and check out our online content on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter & Linkedin @mortalfoolsUK & our YouTube channel is full of lots of content.
When The World Is Loud - our audio theatre experience to help drown out the noise of the modern world - is available to download NOW. This innovative listening experience will take listeners on a journey of discovery, escape and hope for the future.
When The World Is Loud features takes listeners on a reflective journey featuring the real-life voices of young people and communities from across the North East. Starting somewhere familiar - outside or at home - simple instructions take the listener around spots in their chosen location. Listeners will pause to hear original scenes and stories and, as they move from place to place, they'll be accompanied by original music and soundscape.
We are known for creating bold, contemporary theatre, co-created with young people and professional artists, but creating this entirely audio piece of theatre was new (and exciting) territory for us. When The World Is Loud was co-created with 30 young people and 10 professional artists across the North, working on everything from the idea conception and devising to recording and launching the final piece. We engaged the expertise of professional composer and sound designer Mark Melville, and assistant sound designer Matthew Tuckey, to develop a high-quality audio experience that is a feast for the senses AND was an interesting learning experience for the young people and artists working on it.
Anybody, any age, anywhere can listen to When The World Is Loud - all you need is a smartphone and headphones. Our audio theatre experience works in rural, urban and stay-at-home settings. It is free to listen to, however as we are a registered charity, we welcome donations to further support our work with children and young people.
You can access and listen to WhenThe World Is Loud directly from our website and it is also available to stream on Spotify and Podbean from 24th August, and Apple Podcasts a few days later – just search for “When The World Is Loud”. On Mortal Fools website how-to-guides are also available for those curious about what to expect from this audio theatre experience, or who need a bit more help with the tech side of things.
Since lockdown began, we have set about busily reimagining our projects and developing new ways of working with children and young people. This has led to several new projects, including two video-based ones – Coronavirus Time Capsule with Company Three (for teenagers) and What the World Needs Now (for younger children). The themes from these projects directly influenced our ambition to create a theatre experience that could support positive well-being in a socially distanced world, alongside enabling the sense of achievement and excitement that comes with creating and performing a live play; something Mortal Fools’ Youth Theatre really longed for but is currently impossible during the pandemic!
The inspiration for When The World Is Loud came from the challenging and changing landscape of 2020. We wanted to create a high quality audio theatre experience that gives space for individuals to reflect on their thoughts, feelings and experiences of the world right now whilst celebrating community and reminding folks the things we have to be thankful for. Lasting approx. 75 minutes, listeners are encouraged to take time out of their busy and noisy lives to temporarily escape on a journey with us.
We are really excited for listeners to get fully immersed in this journey with them. Listeners will have the best experience of When The World Is Loud if they put aside at least an hour for the experience, remove any distractions and allow space to get fully lost in it.
When The World Is Loud is available now (from 24th August)! For more information and to access it visit the WHEN THE WORLD IS LOUD page on our website.
We would love listeners to share their listening experience and photos listening along in your chosen location! You can share your thoughts, comments, feedback and pictures via our social channels @MortalFoolsUK and using the hashtag #WTWIL
Our training and professional development programme CONNECT launches, supporting businesses, teams and individuals to adapt to the evolving demands of the “new normal”.
On Tuesday 28th July, we launched CONNECT - our training and professional development programme for businesses, teams and individuals - to a virtual room of regional and National businesses, entrepreneurs, leaders and press. Attendees to our virtual showcase were also treated to a special virtual Zoom performance from our Ensemble Young Company showcasing the work of our young people, as income from CONNECT directly funds and supports this work.
The launch of our reimagined CONNECT programme is incredibly exciting for Mortal Fools and is the culmination of months of work and research and years of experience delivering training to organisations. Since lock down began, we have been supporting organisations and individuals across the region to adapt to the new and evolving demands of the “new normal” landscape through CONNECT, working with 14 organisations and 170 individuals.
The COVID-19 pandemic has pushed many organisations and individuals to go online with their activities and events, communicating with their networks in new ways using digital platforms and feeling overwhelmed and out of their comfort zones. We responded to this emerging need by fast-tracking the launch of our CONNECT programme, supporting organisations navigate this new landscape.
Since April we’ve been running ZOOM workshops (you might have seen us champion them on our social) and offering consultancy to organisations and individuals focusing on confident and effective digital communication, developing digital facilitation skills, increasing resilience in uncertainty and adopting dynamic leadership. This training and support has so far been snapped up by the likes of Northern Stage, Myndr, Sunderland Culture, Navigator North, Wakefield LCEP and nearly 200 individuals.
“As a creative organisation, our team has a strong set of skills to equip us to adapt, reimagine and repurpose our work to meet the needs of this changed world. The purpose of our work has always been to support people to make better inter-personal relationships with one another – now we’re doing it in new ways which are of real value to people and organisations during a very challenging time.” - Kiz Crosbie, CEO and Artistic Director at Mortal Fools
We are known for creating compelling, dynamic and high-quality theatre, projects and training by professional artists working as co-creators with young people, schools, businesses and communities; helping people connect, have fun, learn and grow together. This creative sector expertise, coupled with our experience delivering training to the likes of Virgin Money, Newcastle University, Ryder Architecture and Generator in recent years, laid the foundation for the new CONNECT programme.
Across May 2020, Mortal Fools commissioned research within the regional business community consulting with various sectors to find out what their challenges are and their skills and training gaps. This research captured the reality being faced for organisations and individuals and included SMEs, public bodies, entrepreneurs, high growth businesses, large corporates and freelancers.
This fed into the development and launch of our CONNECT programme; a training and professional development programme for organisations, teams, and individuals, responding to the contemporary issues, organisations are facing. CONNECT uses a unique combination of practice from the creative sector and theory, practice, and research from the social sciences to lead participants through a practical training process of identifying personal strengths, increasing knowledge, and developing new skills.
Mortal Fools staff and beneficiaries performing and presenting at the online launch event
Wakefield LCEP received training from Mortal Fools as part of its strategy to develop partners' confidence with delivering sessions online. The workshop was facilitated by 3 excellent, warm and friendly practitioners and enabled the understanding of online facilitation psychology; empowering attendees to make their own future sessions fun and the confidence to be playful. After the session we had feedback that this was the best CPD some of the participants had had all year. – Natalie Walton, Wakefield LCEP
CONNECT offers dynamic and effective approaches to developing leadership practice, engaging communication, formal presentation skills, team dynamics, digital facilitation and emotional resilience & well-being. Our training is delivered by experienced facilitators, directors and creative practitioners in environments which are genuinely supportive and accessible. CONNECT is delivered digitally and in person and consists of full day and half day training, 2hr long workshops, consultancy and 1 to 1 coaching.
Mortal Fools delivered training as part of Sunderland Culture’s Unlock programme for artists and creatives. This training was timely and important with creative industries being hardest hit by the pandemic and we received very positive feedback from participants It was engaging, interesting, full of up to date information, and delivered with care and focus." – Laura Brewis, Creative Producer, Sunderland Culture
As a registered charity working with children and young people across the North, the CONNECT training programme income subsidises this work; this includes using drama and theatre to support the skills development, group working and wellbeing of some highly vulnerable and isolated young people. When organisations and individuals book and buy in Mortal Fools training, they are directly supporting this important work.
The launch of CONNECT was an incredibly exciting moment and marked the beginning of us preparing for a busy Autumn 2020 delivering CONNECT training to more organisations supporting them to navigate the challenges they are facing and to thrive.
Keep an eye out on our social media for future public facing CONNECT sessions. If you’d like to find out more about Mortal Fools’ CONNECT training offer and to request our CONNECT brochure, you can email: Rachel.Horton@mortalfools.org.uk