In early 2020 Discover Children’s Story Centre commissioned us to make a one-person storytelling piece, for 0’s-3’s.
Flo (one of our 3 co-Artistic Directors) has always been obsessed with turning the lights on and off: she and her brother shared a bedroom as kids, and were obsessed with the pull-cord light switch. The noise it made, and the apparent magic of being able to make the room light and dark.
This idea ended up as a one-person piece, titled BLinK BLonK, about 20 mins long, which was broadly about problem solving, logic, the scientific method, and coding – themes that seemed to resonate with even very young children.
We’re now developing this piece into a longer, immersive science show for all ages.
Early research for the show uncovered an Office for National Statistics study showing that women made up just 24% of the science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) workforce, with an even smaller number of that cohort being women of colour. Clearly a small theatre company can’t overturn big issues like inequality all by ourselves. But we do make stories, and we do reach a lot of children with those stories, so what we can do is plant ideas and questions in their heads. Questions like: What does a scientist look like? What kind of things do scientists do? Is it fun being a scientist?
Everyone is a scientist. We are all curious about something – and we test things out, we experiment, we draw conclusions from our experiments. And for very young children pretty much everything in life is an experiment.
For us, and hopefully for them, BLinK BLonk is just another attempt to explain the world.
We’re really pleased to be working with these brilliant makers/performers:
Andrea Davy, Jodie Hay, Linn Johanson, Maya Manuel, Nadia Morgan, Maria Machado, Amy Tweed, Minnie Wilkinson, Laura Wohlwend.
And some rather extraordinary scientists are also helping us develop the show:
Institute of Cognitive and Evolutionary Anthropology.
Research Associate and Fellow at The Alan Turing Institute.