We started the session with a few name games to warm us up and once everyone was laughing the performance began:
An un-named individual clad in metallic blue spandex raged through the library performing lewd sex acts, wrestling (in what can only be described as amateur in style) and littering, before storming out the building and setting off a dangerous weapon in the doorway (a glitter cannon none-the-less).
Liz and Lucy created this performative tour of the library (with Zoe's support and performance!) based on the list of 'No Ways for The Library' compiled by the participants the week before. There were hoots of laughter and lots of words of encouragement including (from one participant):
The library is often such a staid place it was great to see something risky it it
Inspired by last week - Linda shared some personal stories about what she enjoys doing at home to relax.
And then it was the participants turn to create a performative tour. This time it was to be a one on one sensory experience ...
The sensory tour created some beautiful and trusting pairings:
I wanted him to give me a tour as I wondered whether I could trust him [to keep me safe]. He showed me that I could and it was quite romantic ...
We reflected together and shared ideas for future sessions. Much of the conversation centred on the desire to continue beyond the scheduled six sessions as well as to be directly involved in a performance.
Could the sessions continue on Wednesdays? I can't make another day?
I'm so pleased that the sessions are on because I come to the library every day and usually on a Wednesday it's closed and I'm quite upset because I have nothing to do.
We started the afternoon sessions with gentle and complimentary games to remember each other's names and to help us warm up. During the mirroring exercise I noticed that participants enjoyed watching as well as taking part. We also challenged caring partnerships to explore working with someone else in the group.
After re-staging the performative tour (much to the delight of the the participants as well as the carers from a local day centre - who were not expecting anything of the kind!) the participants created a sensory tour (one on one) around the library. I really enjoyed watching the tours taking place. It was beautiful to see the role reversal of someone who is often told what to do being entrusted to take care of another. It looked almost meditative as they gently guided their eyes closed audience and instructed them to feel or touch particular surfaces.
We reflected together and it was lovely to hear what people had enjoyed spoken in their own words:
... the mirroring ... steering someone around ... the gestures and Chinese whispers I'm movement ... as we are in a library it would be nice to do something with words ...the performance and Liz in her funny costumes ... the story telling - fortunately and unfortunately - how random the stories were - how fun ...
We concluded the day by creating a playful incident report (detailing the performance) as an intervention into the library staff meeting (due to be held the next day).