So this Monday I had cause to tweet this
Actually in a production meeting at the moment – stupidly excited to be working on The Chronicles of Atom and Luna – part 1 with @MurrayLYoung @Nina_Haj @MBDtweet Bek Palmer et al. Part 1 is a digital release for Christmas, part 2 the live stuff the following year!— Matthew Linley (@MatthewLinley) August 10, 2020
That was rapidly followed by this:-
Delighted to see an #EIRA-funded @CrispinClumps project with @MurrayLYoung has been featured in the @BBSRC Impact Showcase Report (p9) https://t.co/8rhPMeAfWx The project team have gone on to work with Facebook Reality Labs to study how people can use #VR to judge distance.— EIRA (@EIRA_eARC) August 10, 2020
So just as we embark on a new journey more recognition of the success – and perhaps importantly – impact of our Raddlesham Mumps project!
In reality the Raddlesham Mumps team (and in particular Murray, Nina, Bek, Joe and Simone) haven’t actually stopped since Covid struck. We’d begun the creative process on our new project (thanks to Arts Council England and lottery players up and down the country) at Kirkgate Arts in Cockermouth. Then lock down happened and sent us scurrying into zoom rooms to further develop the story of the twins Atom and Luna.
What happened on Monday though was a shift in gear. We went from that moment of incubation (we’ve got an idea, lets play around with it and see what happens) to now we are making a thing.
The thing has to remain secret for now – we’ll be telling all at the start of October. And to be fair we cant tell all just now – we’re starting work on the bits we have funding for, with some funding still to be secured before we can start on all of it (cryptic huh – welcome to the world of a producer!!). Needless to say the first iteration of Atom and Luna’s story – to be released this December – will be digital. But more of that anon!
What made me so excited on Monday morning was to be finally back in a room (all be it zoom) with fellow creatives who have a task in hand, deadlines to meet and creative problems to solve.
Equally exciting have been conversations with our education partners. At the heart of our work is two firm ideas – making work with young people, and making work which enthuses young people with a love of language, of words, of rhyme and rhythm. Firing the creative imagination as it were! We’ve seen these two things coalesce already in the R&D. We asked young people to draw us a map of the challenges Atom and Luna face as they travel through a mythical forest, and their maps and ideas have already significantly influenced the story we are telling!
So it’s been great to be talking to partners at our local bridge organisations (Norwich and Norfolk Festival and the Royal Opera House) about how we can make our work with young people have wider impact. But whats been really exciting me is developing our core schools programme on Atom and Luna – which we have been developing with Emily Smith of Brightlingsea Primary School. It’s a programme we will test in Ellesmere Port, Ipswich and (of course) in Brightlingsea before we make more widely available. A programme which will we hope will both inspire the young people who take part, and inspire us as we develop the world and story around Atom and Luna.
And at the same time I’ve been having conversations with co-commissioning partners. As we all know these are difficult times for venues, rural touring schemes and others and I was fearful people wouldn’t want to talk about work. I couldnt’ have been more wrong. Yes some people told me we can’t commit now – but they were still interested in what we were up to. Others are awaiting the outcome of various emergency funding bids. Then there were the adventurous – those that responded to our provocation and are going to join us on the journey. THANK YOU and BIG UP to Action Transport Theatre, Arts Out West, Carn to Cove, Cheshire Rural Touring, Eastern Angles, Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, Villages in Action, Sudbury Quay Theatre and University of Essex – with some more (fingers crossed) to follow!
So watch this space – and look out for our official project announcement at the start of October!