“A tiny revolution”: Delicate’s national impact

Delicate’s national impact

This week marks the halfway point in our Delicate national tour.

Thanks to an Arts Council strategic grant, we’ve brought the show to five venues across the country and will perform in six more over the coming month. Delicate is written by Jamie Beddard and co-produced with Figurteatret i Nordland and Theatre Royal Plymouth. Alongside this, Connecting Communities, our three-year National Lottery-funded engagement project that began in 2020, is deepening our relationships with local people. Eilis Davis, Co-Director for Delicate and long-standing Extraordinary Bodies team member, tells us about the revolution that’s growing out of our work.

Last week, we brought Delicate to The Lowry, Salford Quays, one of our amazing touring venues. The day we arrived at the venue was a difficult one. Get ins are pretty tiring and we ran out of time to tech. But then… Our beautiful loyal audience showed up. They packed out the studio, which felt almost full up. I recognised most of them.

As people arrived for the show, I recognised people who had come to our previous show, Human, and came back for Delicate. This time, they also brought friends along. There were faces from Skylight Circus Arts and the Unexpected Leaders who we’ve been working with as part of Connecting Communities since 2021. They are beginning to feel like old friends. There were many visually impaired people and people with sensory needs, all the sticks and canes and wheels. The little lifts going up to the studio where we were performing were running non-stop.

Once you arrived up in the performance space, the energy felt like a tiny revolution growing in a chaotic world.

I could feel the impact of our long-lasting work with The Lowry very clearly. All the micro and the mighty connections, together with growing word -of-mouth, have created a beautiful community around Salford’s surrounds and Extraordinary Bodies. The audience is growing and they are completely committed to our work in the venue. They know us and I’m starting to feel like I know them.

I’ve had deep and lovely conversations about people’s lives. I remember them from last year. To me, these conversations are proof that the work we’re doing in partnership with amazing an network on venues, is working.

I see it in Sam, a disabled person who came to Human, and is back with his mates for Delicate. I witness it in Kris, who is blind, participated in our lockdown workshops and came to a live Extraordinary Bodies show for the first time and LOVED it. It’s in Ada too, a visually impaired physical theatre student, who got to experience Audio Description and wants to use us as an example in her studies. I see it in the over 200 feedback cards that people dropped in our heart box on the way out. Cards that say things like: “This show made me feel heard and less alone”.

Having worked front-of-house for both Human and Delicate, I have glimpsed how loyal our audiences are, and I am getting to know them. I can feel Delicate‘s national impact. We’re going somewhere nice in collaboration with great people who believe in what we are doing. We are creating change.

A horizontal, slightly curvy black brush mark used as a separator.

Delicate is on tour until the 3rd of December.

You can catch the show in Worthing, Cambridge, Southampton, Barnsley, London or Canterbury. Click here for dates and tickets.

Click here to find out more about Connecting Communities and our work with Unexpected Leaders.

Delicate is presented by Extraordinary Bodies and co-produced with Figurteatert i Nordland (Nordland Visual Theatre) and Theatre Royal Plymouth.