PLEASE BARE IN MIND...
While we may occasionally take on theatre and puppetry commissions that do not directly relate to chronic illness and invisible disabilities (usually in order to financially support the work that does) our little company is uniquely positioned to create work of specific value within this niche because we have lived experience of it ourselves. As such, our availability is limited, so we cannot always support as many projects as we might like and booking in advance is advised.
We are not medically qualified professionals - we are simply theatre and film makers with detailed insight into living with the challenges of long term health difficulties. We do not claim in any way to be therapists or to provide counselling of any kind, though we are very happy to collaborate with those who do. Please see the 'Meet the Team' section for more on who we are and what we are qualified for.
Aziki and Shadow play in their shadow theatre tipee tent
The Theatre Royal Lab Company - The Narwhals - meet Ephie and Clare at M.E Awareness Day 2017
Lipson Community College Open Day Puppet Making Workshop
We don't publish our address as we work from a private home. However, there are plenty of lovely places in Plymouth and surrounding areas to meet with us - just let us know your preference!
Our studio is not open to the public, but please contact our Creative Director Clare McCarthy for details of how to meet us and our general availability.
Clare can be reached on 07904 911 555 between 11am and 11pm every day, unless she is unwell. In which case, please leave a message or email us, and we will be in touch as soon as we are able again.
Please remember that we all have complex health issues, which do occasionally require us to go 'off-grid' for short periods of time. Your patience and understanding is greatly appreciated.
COFFEE AND CAKE?*
We like to keep things as friendly and informal as possible around here. We find it adds to the spirit of inclusion and sense of fun we like to nurture...so, if you'd like to find out more about us, what we do and how we could work together, just drop us a note and we'll set a date for coffee and cake!*
(*Or whatever else takes your fancy!)
We currently have 2 shows in Research and Development for the 2018/2019 Touring season.
Click Here to find out more or register your interest in hosting our performance work.
We attend community events and Arts festivals by invitation, often accompanied by our friends from the campaign for disability awareness (CFDA) and of course a range of our most eye catching puppets!
Click Here to find out more or invite us to your event.
We run a range of creative learning programmes, drama and puppetry or puppet making workshops which can be delivered alongside our performance projects, or as stand alone sessions. We work across all age and ability ranges.
Click Here to find out more or to book a workshop/consultation.
We are always looking to invite more volunteers, artists and practitioners with an interest in or experience of chronic illness and invisible disabilities to join in with whatever we do. However, working with us can be a little more complicated than working with other companies, as we have to work in a way that prioritises our health & well being - and of course that of our team, associates, volunteers and participants, and we're not just talking about flexible hours or extra 'sick leave'.
Our working hours remain entirely fluid around highly unpredictable medical needs. We simply cannot keep regular working hours. We work when we are well, and we rest when we are not, and we expect and actively encourage our extended team to do the same. Our team members must be able to work dynamically within an ever changing team environment, and this requires a lot of multi-tasking and sharing of work loads.
We are extremely fortunate to have received funding from both The Big Lottery Fund and Arts Council England to ensure we are able to run this way until at least the end of December 2017, and we have structured our current projects according to this central need for flexibility, but that doesn't mean we don't have targets.
We try to work without the pressure of deadlines whenever it is possible to do so, and as a new company we are still very much finding our feet as we try to establish our place amidst other theatre providers who do not have the same restrictions and limitations as we do. We are a very ambitious company with big hopes and dreams and an extraordinary sense of determination and dedication to the work we take on both now and for our futures. For many of us, working this way is our only chance of gaining employment of any kind.
If you would like to know more about how you could get involved in our company and our work, please get in touch - we would love to hear from you. Our team needs to continue to expand if we are to become a sustainable entity, and having a strong, flexible and supportive team is crucial to our very survival. In truth, we need a lot of 'Broken' hands to equal the productivity and financial stability of our healthier peers. You don't have to be Broken to work with us, but we won't ever hold it against you if you are...in fact, it is often a bonus around here, which makes a nice change! :)
WORKING WITH US...
Broken Puppet Theatre Company offer puppet making workshops, drama and puppetry workshops, puppetry based live performance and various creative learning programmes with the central themes of promoting inclusion and raising awareness for those with invisible disabilities and/or chronic health conditions.
Our ethos extends not only to our project participants but also to our practitioners and artistic team, as we acknowledge the significant challenges people with serious health issues face in attending and participating in creative workshops and in building careers within the community and professional creative industries.
An original Theatre Performance, creative learning programme and accompanying story book for children with chronic illness & invisible disabilities.
Narrative: An Ephelant is a metaphorical Elephant who got his letters all in a muddle! Ephelants come from the imagination of nine year old Jj, who invents them to help explain how an undiagnosed invisible illness is affecting her, to other people, who cannot see and therefore cannot understand it.
The story follows Jj, her brother Joey and her best friend Daisy as they learn how to live with these mischievous creatures, all of which personify one or more of the challenging symptoms Jj experiences.
Ephelant has been created by people who have M.E (Myalgic Encephalomyelitis) or similar chronic illnesses, and aims to introduce positive coping strategies and peer support structures to families, schools and communities who support children learning to transition from health to living with a disability.
Broken:Live is in its Research & Development phase until December 2017 and will tour - funding dependent - from Summer 2018. Conference workshops may be available as soon as October 2017. Please contact us for details.
An original Theatre Performance and further education seminar created by adults with chronic illness and invisible disabilities to promote understanding and acceptance within the public sector.
This piece is intended to provide a patient's perspective of social care, employment and community living to support the development of care services more relevant to our needs.
" It started with a broken pelvis, traumatised an autonomous central nervous system and made its way out into the world...And although it remained invisible, it changed EVERYTHING..."
Broken:Live! is our first ever puppet show aimed exclusively at an older audience. Devised by a group of adults who've had their lives turned entirely upside down by chronic illness, it features a vast array of true life stories and shared experiences, providing a moving, brutally honest and at times darkly humorous insight into all the things nobody tells you about living a 'Broken' life. Written and devised through online collaboration with people housebound by invisible disabilities, this is a heartfelt plea from us, to the rest of the outside world - because you have more power than you realise to change it.