“We will rise from the ashes once this is over and our flames will burn twice as brightly!”
…Is the answer our Flames give to the outbreak of coronavirus.
In the light of the escalation of people affected in the UK over the weekend, we decided on Monday 16 March to cancel all scheduled rehearsals for Don’t Stop Me Now and to postpone the performance on the 1stApril @ Tron Theatre. Tron Theatre is also making the difficult decision today to cancel or postpone all scheduled performances, classes and events until further notice.
On Friday 13thMarch, we have decided with our partner LondonPANDA to postpone 炎:Honō in Sendai in April, as coronavirus cases rise in both countries.
We work with older people, some of which have got pre-existing medical conditions. For this reason, we have been actively keeping ourselves up to date with how the situation evolved, communicated with our participants, partners and board members over the last few weeks. We would like to thank them all for their support, excellent advice and insights in such unpredictable times.
Despite the doom and gloom surrounding us at the moment, The Flames in Scotland and Japan are now an unstoppable force. Over the last 3 years, they have been igniting from all corners of Scotland and lightened the heart of 1,036 audience members. The demand to be part of 炎:Honō in Sendai is overwhelming: 80 older Japanese people are now on the waiting list. The eagerness from both Scottish and Japanese Flames to genuinely connect and to shout out what it means to be older in the 21stcentury is heart-warming. And this is what keeps us going.
Currently and unfortunately, being older means self-isolating in one’s home and avoiding physical contact with the outside world. Our creative response to this situation is to launch a virtual collaboration with all Flames taking part in Don’t Stop Me Now. We have asked participants to share their thoughts, feeling and stories about being at home. They have started to document their lives by writing a diary, taking pictures, films and keep their creativity going. We will then collate these stories and create 3 short films that we will share online with The Flames community and the outside world.
We would like to assure the Flames community that we are totally committed to make Don’t Stop Me Now and 炎:Honō happen when it is safe for everyone to take part. We are so committed to continue delivering our programme of short-burst Flames Guerrilla Sessions events and residencies. To keep the fire burning across Scotland and throughout the world. We are not yet in a position to say when and how but we are working very hard to make it happen.
We encourage everybody to be safe, hopeful and creative in these difficult times. And it does look like this is happening already:
“I knew nothing could quench the Flames.”
“Loving the idea of continuing with our collaboration and creativity online – not the same as being together but anything that allows us to remain connected is brilliant!”
“We will reignite”
“Thanks for being creative as always in thinking of ways to help us stay connected.”
“Hopefully it won’t be too long before we can all light some more stages.”
“I hope government and funders are understanding and put in the support to help small organisations through. The world needs Tricky Hat!”
“With you, Fiona and Kim moving us forward – WE WILL SURVIVE!!”
“Keep well and stay fabulous!”
“You have lifted my spirits! I’m on it already! This is medicine for the soul!”
With much love to you all.
[Image by Eoin Carey]