Written and performed by Bernadette Russell and Gareth Brierley of White Rabbit, the 366 Days Of Kindness was created in response to the riots of August 2011, after which Artistic Director Bernadette committed to be kind to a stranger every single day for a year.
This multi-media show tells the heartbreaking, surprising and challenging stories of that year, which began with burning buildings and ended with the flame of the Olympic torch, against a global backdrop of social unrest and economic crisis. Part storytelling, part stand-up, part live documentary, featuring a dinner party with surprise guests including the Dalai Lama, Liam Neeson and Princess Diana, this show attempts to answer the question: is it possible to change the world just by being kind? Bernadette says of the project:
After the year was up, I realised that it was the best thing I had ever done, and I’d better just carry on! So I still do it every day.” She was also invited onto Radio 4’s Saturday Live to talk about her experiences, where Billy Bragg taught her the chords to “Milkman of Human Kindness” to use in the show!
The show has already had sell out audiences at Norden Farm, Colchester Arts Centre and Birmingham Rep. It will be accompanied with an art exhibition of words and images from Tuesday 8 April – Friday 16 May, plus an interactive installation called Dear Stranger on Thursday 8 May.
The installation invites members of the public to write a message for a stranger on a luggage label attached to a balloon. The balloons are displayed and the messages are there for everyone to see and enjoy. Later the balloons are given away to strangers. The installation creates a simple, beautiful display of colour and text, and is accompanied by a film and slide show from the project.
Engaging and entertaining…charming, self-deprecating and downright funny…this show might just change your life.
– William Stafford, Bumonaseat.wordpress.com
Bold, truthful…inspiring…so much more than a theatrical production…it is a cry to ask us all to stop being scared…
-Elizabeth Halpin www.behindthearras.com
• The exhibition around the show will be running from Tues 8 Apr – Fri 16 May. The installation, Dear Stranger, will be running all day on Wed 7 May. Both the exhibition and the installation are free.