News

Highlights 2017/18

Kerry Reidy

Our Highlights document shares an overview of the work we've completed during 2017/18 with specific examples. Give it a read to find out exactly how we've been using drama and thatre-based techniques to support vulnerable individuals within criminal justcie, social welfare and community settings.

Get in touch if you have any questions - we'd love to hear from you!

Birmingham’s Looked After Children Education Service’s Story

Kerry Reidy

Working with Geese on projects specifically aimed at unaccompanied minors was a humbling and inspirational experience.  

As a collective - Geese and Virtual School - we did not know how this would work, we had discussed what our aims were but we were heading into the unknown. 

The week was a great success: all the children spoke positively regarding their experience and embraced the opportunity to tell their story and make new friends. To exemplify this commitment a young person decided to re-arrange their weekly session with a therapeutic mental health care worker as he felt that the week was proving to be more effective in helping him deal with his feelings. It became evident that attending this project helped to alleviate anxiety the young people might have been suffering by meeting others they could relate with.

This was shown during circle time when young people were able to share their experiences in their journey to seeking asylum in the UK. Examples included:
• A person talked about his journey, using a map of the world.  He showed us the countries he travelled through sharing experiences like running at night across borders while sleeping in the day.  He told us about losing the soles of his shoes, and how cold the nights were.
• Another young person talked about how his brother had been killed on their journey and why friendships had now become important to him.

In reflection, the week provided an environment for young people to feel more connected to their adopted country and formed a kind of group therapy, helping those with less confidence to also contribute positively. The week was also important in giving young people a voice.  

To conclude, through the medium of drama the group explored themes of social isolation, emotional issues, self-confidence, sense of belonging, conflict, positive decision-making and future aspirations.  
A truly inspirational week full of laughter, learning, bonding and a few tears for young people and adults alike! 

Louey’s story

Kerry Reidy

Louey* has worked with Geese on a number of projects in prison and wanted the chance to share his experience as part of our 30th Birthday...

I could relate to it, it was real life and it hit home because it was me.  I didn’t realise about my masks.  Now I’ve seen them I know how I use them to block people out.  I enjoyed it.  I opened up.  It was normal people so I think that helped.  Thanks to you.  Made me realise what’s underneath.

*Not his real name

Be part of our 30th Birthday and support us to make more projects like these happen.

Mark’s story

Kerry Reidy

Mark Ball is the Associate Artistic Director of Manchester International Festival, but started his own journey here at Geese...

Almost 3 decades ago my first job in the arts was as Geese Theatre’s very first Administrator.  It was the job that shaped me, not just because it gave me the organisational tools in finance, marketing, planning and fundraising to become a producer, but because it taught me the values of achieving things together as a team. Everything was run on shoestring, the pay was a pittance and working conditions could best be described as basic – on tours we all slept, cooked and ate on the company van.  And that life in the company, working with some of this country’s most difficult and damaged offenders, was often simultaneously hilarious, outrageous, shocking and humbling.  But it’s not the Geese anecdotes I reflect on from my time there.  After all these years, it’s the sense of comradery, of growing as people together, of a shared purpose where a bunch passionate young people who believed in the power of theatre to affect change made incredible work together. Great organisations understand that their agency comes from growing people and in everything it does Geese does that, and I shall be always be thankful for my own Geese journey.