We were just one week away from finding out if our funding application for an Arts Council England National Lottery Project Grant was successful when the Arts Council suspended the Project Grants scheme in order to offer support to artists through an Emergency Response Fund. If successful, the funding would have enabled us to undertake a two-week research and development (R&D) period to start making our first show, When Seagulls Saved the World.
Several puppeteers would have gathered together to play, investigate and explore ideas around the theme of plastic pollution and its impact in particular on coastal communities. We would have asked the question: what if the human race was on the verge of extinction and the seagulls, relying on us for their food, decided to come together and hatch a plan to save the world (saving us in the process)?
The R&D was due to take place at the Fish Factory Art Space in Penryn this June, as part of an artist residency. Obviously, with not just the nation but a large part of the world in lockdown, that isn’t going to happen quite as planned.
The question now is: how do we continue with the project during this difficult period of social distancing? Would a ‘virtual R&D’ be possible over Zoom? Will audiences even want to see a show about the near extinction of the human race, given our current predicament? Would it help if I tell you it’s going to be funny and involve straggly seagull puppets?
Lots of questions, lots of things to consider. Watch this space to see what we come up with!