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Memories of The Marshland R&D

Updated: Mar 14

An audio version of this blog read by Jack is available, please click here.

Directed by Flo O’Mahony and Sam Brewer 

Written and Movement Directed by Jack Norris.


Hi everyone, this is Jack here.

Today I’m going to talk a little bit about the upcoming R&D of my play Memories of The Marshland (MOTM) at Jacksons Lane with Zoo Co. 

MOTM follows a central protagonist called Ava, who is visually impaired. The story takes Ava on an epic journey of self-discovery She meets new friends, overcomes dark forces, and grapples with a compelling mystery which ultimately leads her (and the audience) to a mind-blowing revelation that will change EVERYTHING. 

But why should you care? It’s a good question; and one I have been asking myself throughout the writing process. The answer is: there is something universal in this play which speaks to all of us. It’s about ‘home’. Everyone, at some level, needs the feeling of having a home, and the security that brings. That is what Ava is searching for. 

Whilst writing, I was moved by the provocation that home is not purely a place to live. It’s also a place to feel vulnerable. It’s also a place to heal. It’s the shelter from an increasingly cruel, unjust, and unkind world. The longing for ‘home’ is not a concept; it’s a genuine primal instinct that sits deeply within our collective DNA. It transcends identity and whispers to us all equally. 

Whilst we create this work - I feel it’s vital to acknowledge all over the world we are seeing millions of people seeking home. World leadership is doing little to help; We are actually seeing people being punished for seeking a home in so-called ‘welcoming countries’. That’s why I think this story is important. We all have the right to know where our home is.

The focus of this upcoming R&D is to explore methods of working with visually impaired/ blind artistic leadership on the physical theatre devising process. It’s deeply humbling for me to think my little idea Memories of The Marshland is now supported by some of the UK’s leading blind/ VI creative voices. Wow! Everyone involved is bringing such a rich skillset with them to enrich and inform the work. We are now a hugely diverse group of creative voices, both in lived experience and expertise, which I hope will empower us to make the bold choices during this R&D.

I hope we (me and the Zoo Co team) learn something about VI access practice, I hope we have the courage to share our learnings afterwards (the successful and the not successful) and I hope the world feels a bit gentler afterwards.  

Let’s get to work.  

‘More than machinery, we need humanity. More than cleverness, we need kindness and gentleness’. – Chaplin.


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