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We’ve got a lovely blog double-bill from our friends at Tramshed Theatre. So grab a brew and settle in for a good old read about making and maintaining connections…

Holiday Reviews: Lockdown ✩⭑⭑⭑⭑ “Worst holiday ever!”

“The service was terrible (I’m not the best cook and all the takeaways were closed!) and there was very little to do. I mean one walk a day!? There are only so many times you can watch every episode of Hey Duggee before your head starts to melt! And don’t get me started on social distancing, mask wearing and hand washing…”

Coronavirus disrupted so much for me as it did for the whole world. One of my enduring memories is when Zac called the arts practitioner team into a meeting room during a workshop and told us that the whole country was going into lockdown. No more workshops. I remember thinking that hopefully it would only be for a few months. I couldn’t and still can’t imagine my life without TramShed and that’s how I know that this organisation is special. Everyone who comes into contact with it is touched and somehow altered by it usually for the better. 

On top of no weekly workshops, I had a very bored toddler and had found out I was pregnant again about a week before lockdown was announced. It was a hard time to be so isolated and it made me miss my TramShed family more than ever before. 

As the lockdown rolled on the arts team began to explore a new version of TramShed. There were some scary moments early on. The thought of TramShed not surviving covid spurred us all on to do whatever it took to keep our inclusive theatre alive. Mobile phones became cameras for our lip-syncing adventures! 

The possibility for a new way of doing things inspired our creativity and suddenly thanks to Zac we had funding for new equipment and saw our wonderful members again. It was all very new; we all had to adapt very quickly and learn skills we never thought we would have to learn. Cameras, lights, headphones, zoom, how on earth were we going to play jockeys up online!

Online delivery challenged our ability to be inclusive and gave us so much to think about but as always, the practitioners, volunteers and members rose to the challenge. Creativity, adaptability, exploration, teamwork, inclusion, positivity, the skills at the heart of TramShed shone through and where other organisations fell silent, we produced our first original inclusive online play.

I am so proud of our little inclusive theatre company. Proud of what we have achieved and what we continue to achieve. From the wreckage of Covid 19 we are emerging stronger and with new skills, knowledge and experience to offer than ever before but still with the same mission providing opportunity for anyone and everyone to come and experience the transformative power and joy of theatre, community and inclusivity.

Vicky Spencer

Arts Practitioner

#apartofbeingapart

 

Friends, Trips Out, Sea Glass and Plants

 Friends, Trips Out, Sea Glass and Plants

Connections- a relationship in which a person, thing or idea is linked or associated with something else.

A couple of weeks ago was half term and a week off TramShed. The week before, we were on holiday in our beloved campervan in the Lake District, and for the most I managed to access the workshops and the TramShed Voice Quiz Night using Joe’s unlimited data with ok-ish connection. To be fair, I’ve had worse connection in the past with my Wi-Fi at home.

A week away from the laptop is currently a great thing, especially as I spend most of my working week facing a screen with sometimes back to back meetings all day, so it gives my tired eyes a much needed break. What I knew I would miss though is the interaction with amazing friends, most of whom I didn’t know before I joined TramShed 8 years ago after a Right Time, Right Place moment- that’s a story for another day.

Luckily with the technology many of us have at our fingertips, we can still keep in touch and although it is still screen time, it’s so very worth it. The sound of photos and messages coming through on What’s App, sharing cute photos of little ones, wow moments, good food and funny or precious memories is good for the soul and keeps that much needed connection close.

A week off also gave the opportunity to meet up with some of those friends in real life, face to face, in person, still generally socially distanced with the occasional allowed hug (thanks Boris!). We have so many beautiful places to share right on our doorstep, a lovely local walk, along beaches with a huge amount of very addictive sea glass collecting, ready to deliver to another TS friend for her beautiful craft enterprise. Then through the woods with no sound other than happy voices and chirpy birdsong to listen to (there’s even an app to identify the birdsong reasonably successfully)- a connection with nature. We then strolled back to friends’ house for a brew (water in my case – I don’t do brews!!). All too soon it was time to set off home, as always armed with a selection of lovingly grown plants for my growing garden.

All these connections have been made possible through a chance meeting at TramShed, the association which brings us together, in workshops, social events, in real life. Long may it continue and never underestimate the value of our connections and the friendships that may follow.

Berni Ashworth

TramShed Volunteer

#apartofbeingapart

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