LADIES IN THE VAN
A show that uses projection, shadow puppetry, creative captions and a sound system all performed in a van!
Ladies In The Van was created as a direct response to the covid-19 outbreak and subsequent lockdown in the UK. During this period there was growing concern for the isolation and disconnect care homes were experiencing. The aim was to create an entertaining show that would momentarily ease these effects and subsequent feelings. It was therefore imperative that the show be able to reach these audiences whilst the lockdown was in force rather than waiting for it to end.
The team were able to tour their local area in the van, staying in a safe ‘performance bubble’ without having any contact with the venues other than by phone/email. Once they arrived, they opened one side of the van to reveal the AV screen, and could begin the show. The care homes the show visited arranged seats for their residents at the windows, where they could choose to watch the show from. Windows in the care homes were opened to allow sound to pass through, but captions and a very visual show also meant that sound wasn’t relied on.
Ladies In The Van told the whimsical tales of an ‘Amazin’ delivery driver, who, arriving in her delivery van, told the story of curious theories she had about various parcels she had delivered. Were her customers spies? Or madly in love? The real joy for the team however came from the reaction of the care home residents, who waved enthusiastically through the windows and blew kisses as we left, and who we felt we successfully managed to connect with, even if momentarily, at a time of unusual distance.
Ladies In The Van had a short 1 week creation and rehearsal period, which adhered to the government guidance at the time, and went on to tour to 5 care homes. This is a model that we hope to use again in future, and think would work well at festivals and other settings where there isn’t a formal stage and tech set up.