always finding connections that make a deeper impact that the sum of it’s parts.
Collaboration is at the core of what we do.
We design workshop programmes with community groups to explore social issues and relevant topics to inspire new works, either to be performed with them in their local spaces, or developed into our professional touring productions to unlikely public places across the UK.
We support service providers to expand their breadth of engagement with ‘hard to reach’ groups. We work extensively with adults with learning disability as a highly overlooked demographic, bringing our responsive methodology of inclusive creative praxis.
Taking from a wide range of inspiring methods including dance and music therapy, intensive interaction, applied puppetry, contemporary clown, object transformation, chorus work and sensory-response, through over 7 years of practice and study for her MA Applied Theatre at The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama , Artistic Director Kati Francis has developed specialised techniques of working in non-verbally dominant ways. The process opens up possibilities of communication and builds self-confidence in individual expression, connecting with others effectively and interacting with surrounding and changing environments. Unlike more traditional therapies, this is not an attempt to align behaviour with any sense of ‘normal’, but an expansion of possibilities, allowing freedom and exploration of expression whilst facilitating a space for self-advocacy as we break binary concepts of able/disabled, often working in public spaces, challenging preconceived notions of ability and creativity.
We also work with other participant groups from schools to prisons, translating the same philosophy of multi-sensory inclusive engagement facilitating acceptance, a space to play and connect, and the power of imagining possibility to develop resilience, independence and agency.
Safety in Numbers (2013) and A Tale of Two Valleys (2015) were large scale community-professional performances, relying on multiple connections within local areas to create celebratory spectaculars.
The Loneliness Street Cabaret (2015) was developed out of conversations with the elderly community in Brixton, and The 3 Scavengers (2014) was simultaneously inspired by, and helped to inform content for workshops exploring object transformation, scavenging, excess and ownership.
Living Libraries (2014) was a collaboration with Lambeth Disability Services and Clapham Library, exploring site-responsive work and the magic of the imagination held in books.
Winter Sun (2013) worked with Mencap clients to explore winter comforts and personal safety through physical theatre and shadow play.
BeautifulMess have been awarded The Kindness Commission (2016) by People United in collaboration with Aswarm’s Thor Mcintyre and Chloe Osborne. This is a special commission marking their 10 year anniversary and the team are working in collaboration with Newington Big Local, Ramsgate, to create an interactive installation, 3D mapping acts of kindness to identify kindness hotspots, ‘sense-grabbing’ them and then translating that into an interactive sculpture subverting the idea of the punch-bag, finding ways to connect people through the sound, light and textures.
BeautifulMess have launched a showcase for dramaturgically rich and socially relevant outdoor performance SSSSSummer Showcase in Winter (2015) working closely with Club Silly and The Bureau of Silly Ideas, bringing together like-minded public artists to share ideas and promote work to industry, connecting up various parts of the sector.
BeautifulMess are part of The Change Collective, working with top participatory arts practitioners to develop methods of catalysing systemic change through the arts.
BeautifulMess are working in collaboration with Puppets with Guts and Enable Arts to deliver their community engagement programmes in Wandsworth, working with big puppets and little people to explore self-expression, build self-confidence and unpack relevant social issues.
Other UK collaborators include Larkhall Autism Unit, Lambeth Council, Street Concepts CIC, Royal Greenwich, Lewisham Council, Age UK Lambeth, Metropolitan Housing, Brixton Green, OvalHouse Theatre, Tony Cealy, We are 336.