The Weather Report : Inclusion, Collaboration, Connection Post 4

The Weather Report event at Wolverhampton Arena Theatre 2-4pm 14th. March 2023

I’m bringing my Arts Council England funded Project, “The Weather Report” to Wolverhampton , with a British Sign Language (BSL) interpreted performance on Tuesday 14th March.  Booking at :

The Weather Report event includes a 14 minute film screening in a two hour creative engagement with my fictional historical character “Lucida”. 

Lucida is an English mental health nurse just returned from working in New Zealand in 1948. I use this character to take people out of their ‘every day’ and consider how a sense of connection impacts on mental health and thoughts of ‘home’. 

Lucida offers a light-hearted, respectful approach to emotive and often serious subject matter. As we know, sometimes it’s easier to simply talk about the weather. 

The project is very much about communication, connection and inclusion. The BSL interpreted performance will add an extra dimension as well as being welcoming of Deaf and hard of hearing audiences.

The subtitled short film, funded by Arts Council England in 2020/21, is a powerful and moving record of the thoughts and voices of women from coastal, immigrant and creative communities (in England in 2021 and New Zealand in 2019). They explore their feelings about the weather, the sea, migration, colonisation, notions of connection and what it means to be ‘A Good Ancestor’. 

The Weather Report event at the Dragon Theatre in  Barmouth in November was a great success. Participants watched the short film and guided by my fictional historical character ‘Lucida’ made drawings, collage, a collaborative poem and discussed what it means to be a good ancestor.

“I just enjoyed the session and it’s been nice meeting everybody and just talking about stuff. I’ve just really enjoyed it. It’s nice connecting with people.” Dave Cousins, Barmouth resident.

Participants completed a “Barometer of Change” postcard at the beginning and end of the session, using weather terminology (foggy, bright and low etc.) to describe their own internal weather report. 

“Mine was overcast, originally, and now feels warm. I’ve had the worst year of my life in the one just passed. It just helps I think, it’s not taken my mind off it. But, it’s helped me feel more grounded, and less dominated by the black cloud.” Janice Horrocks, Dragon Theatre Trustee

Lucida had a lovely response from the participants, People don’t always know what to expect from my workshops, because it is quite a unique experience that is difficult to explain. 

“It’s just a nice warm feeling. Because you’ve been and it’s a lovely, positive vibe, isn’t it? We’ve come here, and we’ve done this. It’s easy to say I can’t be bothered; it’s raining outside. I thought to myself, it’s raining, nobody’ll go. But it’s people making the effort, I’m going and I’m glad I did.” local resident Antoinette Whitehouse, said.

“I think doing this, it’s been allowing you to play this afternoon. And you know, some people might have felt uncomfortable with the drawing but once you start with the collage then that’s losing control again, isn’t it? And yet thats okay, there’s no right answer to this..…So I think that was really good fun.” Jane Cousins, local resident.

A small drawing black pen of a fir cone. A thought bubble is drawn  coming from from the fir cone. In it is written the words ' I am part of all the trees, part of an endless line'. In the bottom right corner is written 2 min and initialled, L.H.

Spontaneity, playfulness, reflection and the willingness to try were the order of the day. 

“I’ve gone from foggy to bright in creativity; I’m always a bit uncertain and I’m never sure which direction I need to go in. I feel actually, like you say, having a play kind of allows you to be spontaneous.” Janice commented.

“It’s almost like you need to instil that inner child part of you that likes to come out. I think it’s important, especially as adults, to keep that inner child part of us going, because that’s what keeps us in touch with our creative side. That’s what keeps our imagination  going.” added Dragon Theatre Arts Group facilitator Sharon Betts  

“One participant, Philippa Bunting, said she just couldn’t miss such a wonderful arts opportunity, which was music to my ears. Many thanks to Julie McNicholls Vale at the Cambrian News for publishing the event online and in the paper, some participants would have missed it otherwise,

Many thanks also to Janice Horrocks at The Dragon Theatre for her support, and for inviting me back to work with the Arts Group in the 2023.

A Barmouth Poem: Going Forward

the shell belongs to all of us

let’s stop defining one thing by comparing it to another

my life shouldn’t be a death sentence for the world 

the shell belongs to all of us

from me to you and back again 

and if I do not preserve my surroundings I do not preserve myself

the shell belongs to all of us

break the chain to escape and find the real you, make your own imprint believe and you can achieve

the shell belongs to all of us

oh I do like to be beside the seaside

The final event of the tour will be at Theatre Severn in Shrewsbury with a one month exhibition from April 14th to May 14th 2023. There will be two opportunities to take part in the workshop event on Saturday May 13th. in The Haydn Smith Room.