PHOTOGRAPHY BY HARRY ELLETSON PHOTOGRAPHY
WHAT IS THE PROJECT?
I was diagnosed with epilepsy when I was 8, it changed my life forever and this project is a body of work exploring that change for me and other people. When I was diagnosed I was told a lot about the medical side of staying alive, but nobody taught us about everything else. I was taught only to survive, and now I think I deserve more than that. I'm trying to disrupt the medical narrative of epilepsy to focus on the emotional, psychological and social impact it has on people.
So far I've created a solo performance about my childhood called "Can You See Into a Black Hole?" which has been performed at Shoreditch Town Hall, Camden People's Theatre and The Holbeck and soon in Covent Garden. I'm now about to start on part two, a family show imagining the conversations I never had.
PRODUCTION PHOTOS BY: https://www.timothykelly.co.uk/
PRODUCTION TRAILER BY: http://www.waynesablesproject.co.uk/
PART 1 - THE REALITY
When Tom grows up he wants to be an astronaut... or the blue power ranger, they’re kind of the same thing anyway, right? But, aged 8, a black hole opens up inside his head when he has his first seizure and his entire world is swallowed up. Now, Tom must take on an even bigger adventure.
In this solo space odyssey, developed through interviews with his parents and told using innovative soundscapes, Tom tries to reconstruct an invisible part of his life which changed him so much. Performed by 1 actor, "Can You See Into A Black Hole?" is an epic adventure exploring one family’s journey to adapt in the face of celestial scale events.
Originally commissioned by Upstart Theatre for Dare Festival 2018 and now supported by a grant from Arts Council England. The gallery below is from our ACE period of development - the show has now emerged in its full form as part of the Iris Theatre summer season 2021.
For Purple Day 2019 I made this video which gives theatres and performances spaces three easy tips to make their building more accessible to people with epilepsy.
PART 2 - THE IMAGINATION
Part Two is called "Hot To Be An Astronaut". Instead of telling the story of what happened, it reimagines how things might be different for other people. It's a family show about how we might have better conversations about epilepsy, disability and chronic health.
It began life with a residency at ArtsDepot in 2020.