Facebook saved their baby

Facebook saved their baby

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Wolf Close tell The Shorely about their latest performance project - 'Facebook Saved My Baby' - which will be featured as part of the Scratch Platform at the Palace Theatre Paignton. 


Tucked away in a living room close by, there's a husband and wife plotting their next touring show. Gareth and Victoria are Wolf Close; a performance company that started when they met at Dartington College of Arts with the idea of making, the making differently. 

“We live in an amazing location... a couple of cities in striking distance... the sea, the moors... the diverse groups of people... enjoyment of life is more of a focus here.”
— Victoria, Wolf Close

'Facebook Saved My Baby' is the latest project from Wolf Close and tells a very personal story of their own daughters happiness. As a baby, their child spent her days smothered in cream and bandages, with even the perfume of a passer-by in the street setting off a never-ending itching cycle.

This was eczema at its worst - a life affecting condition now suffered by almost 15 million people in the UK - and with a daunting link to mental health problems. Just last year, a 23-year old in Plymouth took his own life after he progressively struggled with severe eczema which in turn led to depression.

With their daughters future happiness at stake, Gareth and Victoria set out to find alternative approaches. They joined total strangers in a Facebook discussion group, and soon discovered that social media can have a transformational capacity.

The life changing treatment and collaborative way in which it was found, is at the heart of 'Facebook Saved My Baby'. Autobiographical elements are combined with new writing and a huge resource of writing from others too. The performance features the whole Wolf clan, with the children joining in the creative process too. 

“We write together and separately, then come together to try out moments of performance, seeing what gels. This is a complex story that we’re simplyfing whilst being true to the emotional experience... There are hard parts... sad, then celebratory with a rallying cry that we are not passive receivers of treatment.”
— Victoria, Wolf Close

'Facebook Saved My Baby' uses lots of different types of storytelling combined with music, dance and video projection. The slot at the Palace Theatre's Scratch Platform will enable Wolf Close to take a pause in the working process, show audiences where they are up to so far, and give them opportunity to feed comments back at this early stage of development. 

“This is devised performance with autobiographical elements and direct address with the audience... It’s not stand up comedy, but it’s a very similar relationship with the audience.”
— Victoria, Wolf Close

Once funding is sought, Wolf Close then aim to book studio time to develop their performance with a designer, producer and other experts, before taking the show on tour. Wolf Close have already had international interest in their show and the Facebook discussion group that had humble beginnings now sees 28,000 members empowering each other across the UK, Europe, America, Australia and the Far East. 


Wolf Close will feature as part of the Scratch Platform at Palace Theatre Paignton on Sunday 5 November. Buy tickets for just £5. You can also track and support Wolf Close by visiting their website and Facebook page


Credit: Images and video Wolf Close
 

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