Nathan Curry is the Co-Artistic Director of Tangled Feet and the Associate Director of Greenwich + Docklands International Festival. He is also the Director of Need a Little Help, a moving and uplifting show inspired by the experiences of young carers for ages 3-7. We caught up with Nathan to find out more about the show, audience participation and pink feathers!
What is Need a Little Help about?
Need A Little Help is about looking after other people. It’s about a father and daughter who are a great team and spend a lot of time together. One day the father becomes incapacitated (in the show he gets his arm stuck inside a long metallic tube) and the daughter has to start to help him out, do more work around the house and care for him. The tube can represent many things but in some way there is a change in their relationship and things can’t be the same again.
What was your inspiration for the story?
The piece is inspired by the experience of young carers. These stories are often hidden behind doors and walls and happen inside people’s homes, but have a huge impact on young people’s lives. We wanted to shine a light on the world of young carers. Over the last two years we have been working with a group of young carers in South London, facilitating drama workshops with them. The show is inspired by their stories.
How did the piece come to fruition?
Having spent some time with young carers we were taken with how adult they had to behave, yet they were still in children’s bodies. They showed huge capacity for care and nurture. We wanted to try and find a way to share this theatrically, but with an uplifting, fun and touching story. We also knew we were making a show for under 8s, so it had to be appropriate and accessible for them. We initially did some research and development on what the style of the piece would be and then built from there.
So what can audiences look forward to?
Great performances from our two actors Mario and Sarah – physically exciting yet moving too. Some live music, some surprising props and some chances to get involved.
Audience participation is very important to the show. What was the thinking behind this?
We wanted the audience to be offered the chance to understand and feel what it’s like to be a carer and to physically care for someone else. The show is completed by the involvement of the young people. It’s about taking care of each other.
Pink feathers feature on the print material. What role do they play in the show?
Come and find out! They make a surprising entry and there is a chance to get right in amongst them. When we’ve previously performed the show parents said their child kept playing with the pink feather at home.
Describe the show in three words.
Surprising, moving and playful.
What would you like audiences to take with them after seeing the show?
A feather (I have mentioned that already). That we have great capacity for caring for each other, that it comes naturally to children but they need support when they have to look after someone in their family.