Earlier this year we supported Becca Hulbert’s application to Arts Council England ‘Developing Your Creative Practise’ and following its success Mydd and some other Wildworks creatives spent a week helping her to develop an idea she’s been cooking up.
We’ve asked Becca to tell you a bit more about it in our latest blog…
My son loves books, he really loves them. Looking at books is one of his favourite activities to do at any time of the day or night. When he was 6 months old, I started learning Makaton signing to help support his communication and language learning, it was fascinating and the more I learnt, the more he learnt. Suddenly there was a little boy who at one year old had 100 signs to tell me what he likes, what he saw, what he wanted.
In lockdown me and my partner (who is a photographer) started to think about telling stories as theatrically as possible that were also accurately signed. There was nothing that we could find that currently existed anything like we were imagining, so with some funding from FEAST we set out to see if it was possible – and it was – www.youtube.com/ArthursClub
However, we soon realised that with a one-year-old, filming the stories at 1am in the morning when he had gone to bed and trying to get the take before he woke up was far from ideal, yet the more we researched the idea, the bigger we saw the potential to be. So I applied and was awarded a DYCP from Arts Council funding. This gave me a budget to not only gain all my levels in Makaton, and train to be a Makaton tutor, it also gave me funding to spend a week with other creatives looking at ways we could make our storytelling as theatrical as possible through film. I chose creatives to work with who not only did I admire their work but I also admired them as humans. I also worked with a Speech and Language Therapist and Makaton tutor as my three aims for Arthur’s Club are:
Creative storytelling / Accurately signed / For everyone
We had such a rewarding and fun week. Having worked with Wildworks before, we already had a creative shared language between us but none of us had worked on devising a children’s television show before. We discovered more than I even imagined we would. We explored many different methods of creating theatricality on screen, we found a theme tune, a world that book-ended Arthur’s Club and we underpinned it all with accurate signing and with what I hope more than anything – inclusivity.
Working with a director, a filmmaker, a lighting designer, a sound designer, a musician, designers, a speech and language therapist, a Makaton tutor, and with my son Arthur as our ‘taste tester’ – we created not only something that we are all really proud of, but also something that has great potential to grow further with what we have discovered.
Fingers tightly crossed for the next step – and until then… There’s Magic in every story, you and I both know, what story will we find next time… Only Arthur knows.