Last month I was lucky enough to have the ever adorable Perry Walker (who even brings his own home made flapjacks) to help and teach me to facilitate a new format for the Biscuit Chronicles. Interspersing the monologues with discussion, the audience are invited to look at some of the topics that are raised by the performance and draw out some of the questions that we could or should be asking.
I’m not going to lie to you, I was terrified. I felt a bit out of practice and it was all a bit experimental and potentially disastrous. However, Perry was very helpful and supportive and, even though the first event only had three attendees, the next one had more than ten! Any worries about people not being interested or not having anything to say swiftly went out of the window. After an introduction about the project, I was met with a lukewarm response so I just went into the first monologue – when I was done, I replaced my (metaphorical) facilitator and gave them five minutes to discuss. When I brought them all back together the floodgates opened! I was blown away by the open and astute suggestions that people made – it brought in elements I had never considered and got people discussing everything from gender to identity to where our values come from. It was a massive and inspiring buzz!
It seems that inviting people to add their own ideas and opinions really gets people thinking – for me, it really helps to have more than one brain on the problem of body image and how we negotiate a healthier approach to weight, dieting and self-esteem because it’s a problem that needs multiple brains. Thank you ever so much to all my lovely attendees and especially to Perry – I couldn’t have done it without you!
Now to find some funding and really get the ball rolling…