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Punchdrunk takes immersive theatre to care homes

Punchdrink's Greenhive Green. Photo: Stephen Dobbie Punchdrunk's Greenhive Green. Photo: Stephen Dobbie
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Immersive theatre company Punchdrunk is launching a pioneering project that sees it take its work into care homes.

In collaboration with intergenerational arts company Magic Me, Punchdrunk will deliver an immersive experience in Greenhive care home in Peckham, which will create a lifelike village green in the south London care home.

Greenhive Green marks the first project in the Artists Residencies in Care Homes programme, which is delivered by Magic Me. Greenhive Green is described as “part-soap opera, part-game and part-workshop”, and brings residents together to form a fictional village committee through which they participate in multi-sensory activities alongside artists and care home staff.

Peter Higgin, enrichment director at Punchdrunk, said: “We are constantly looking to deliver high-impact work which both challenges our practice and challenges notions about what is possible within participatory settings. Our ambition for the project has been to give the residents, including those living with dementia, an empowering and magical experience.”

Other projects, which will be led by Magic Me, will take place in Surrey Quays, Westminster and Bethnal Green, and confirmed artists taking part include circus company Upswing, cabaret group Duckie, performance artist Lois Weaver and singer-songwriter Beatie Wolfe, who performs as part of Greenhive Green.

Magic Me director Susan Langford said the programme had been borne out of a “desire to challenge the ageist notion that older people might not enjoy or be able to participate in cutting-edge work”.

Research from the programme and its impact will be published in June 2016 and February 2017.

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