Such Stuff goes behind the scenes at Shakespeare's Globe, sharing the incredible stories and experiences that come through our doors every day. We'll be exploring the big themes behind all of the work that we do here and asking: what is Shakespeare's transformative impact on the world?
34:15In the last episode in our series on arts and wellbeing, we explore the question of creativity. Creativity has come up again and again in this series, as a way of expressing ourselves, but also as a way of managing the thoughts and the periods in our life which can feel overwhelming. Why is exercising our creative brain such a helpful way of taking ourselves out of negative thought processes? How can all of us – even if we don’t think we’re particularly creative people – use creativity to feel better? We speak to our literary manager Jess Lusk about her relationship to that crucial connection between creativity and mental health. And she chats to actor and writer Steffan Donnelly and our associate artistic director Sean Holmes to get their ideas on why creativity matters, and to hear some of the ways they’ve kept their creativity alive this year, whilst they’ve been unable to work. This episode does contain discussion of mental health issues, anxiety, depression and suicide.
24:55In the latest episode of our series on arts and wellbeing, we catch up with some of the creatives and scholars in our Globe network to find out about the inspirations that have helped them through this period and why the arts provide such a vital lifeline. Without the opportunity to go out and experience the arts in person, we’ve been turning inwards, to books, televisions, films, plays and paintings. How can inspirations help to find escape in difficult periods? Or bring comfort in moments of crisis? We hear from actor and writer Tom Stuart in conversation with our literary manager Jess Lusk. And lecturer and senior researcher Dr Will Tosh speaks to actor, storyteller, writer and Globe Education Practitioner Alex Kanefsky, and Shakespeare scholar Dr Vanessa Lim. This episode does contain discussion of mental health issues.
3: Making a connection
28:21In the latest episode of our series on arts and wellbeing, we turn to the question of connection. What are the connections that arts spaces can bring and how can that impact our mental health? And for theatre in particular, how important is the moment of connection, the shared experience, that comes from spending an evening with an audience of strangers? We chat to Jemima and Alistair, two of the wonderful Globe volunteers, about why they volunteer, how it impacts them, and why they think connection is so important for wellbeing. Performances at the Globe can only happen thanks to the extraordinary contribution of our eclectic, committed and joyful volunteers. Every season, they watch countless performances and meet so many of the audience members who come through our doors. Who better to speak on the elusive but extraordinary power of connection? This episode does contain discussion of mental health issues and anxiety.
2: Being vulnerable
35:54In this second episode in our series on the connection between the arts and wellbeing, we dig a little deeper into expression and vulnerability. Whilst watching or engaging in the arts and creativity can offer an incredible release, the process can also be very exposing. After a year of isolation with limited outward expression, how do we move back into the world and what lessons might we learn from the performing arts and artistic practices in making this transition? Director Sarah Bedi and drama therapist Annemarie Gaillard share their experiences of working in rehearsal rooms, and especially with young actors, to facilitate nourishing creative experiences. We’ll be asking, what are the benefits but also anxieties of being vulnerable? How can we build safe spaces in the performing arts? And how can all of us learn from creative practices to reach out after this period of isolation, to find expression through the arts, whilst also taking proper care of ourselves? This episode does contain discussion of mental health issues and anxiety.
1: The Feeling Brain
48:50In a new series dedicated to the connection between the arts and wellbeing, we explore the many ways in which the arts enrich our lives. As we head out of lockdown and back into our beautiful theatres, what role can the arts and theatre play in helping us to tackle mental health issues, in restoring wellbeing, and to help us find expression and connection again after a year of isolation? We’ll be speaking to drama therapists, to psychologists, to artists and creatives, to dig deeper into the links between the arts and wellbeing and to think about some of the practical ways that the arts can play a part in a sort of collective healing. First up, in this episode, Artistic Director Michelle Terry speaks to psychotherapist Rachael Williams about how creativity, vulnerability, and engaging with the arts can help us to work through the mental health problems we experience. This episode contains discussion of mental health, anxiety, depression, self-harm and suicide.
6: Why we need LGBTQ+ inclusive schools
59:27This month, we’ve been celebrating LGBTQ+ History Month. In this episode, our Head of Learning and former drama teacher Lucy Cuthbertson explores the importance of creating a positive environment in schools for LGBTQ+ students and staff. Lucy speaks to eight former students about their experiences of being LGBTQ+ in school and how important drama was as a safe space to explore. They also discuss why role models in school and representation in the curriculum matter so much. Plus, Lucy chats to Dr Elly Barnes about the work her charity Educate & Celebrate is doing in schools. Lucy and Elly have both been working in educational spaces as educators, as teachers, as activists and as champions of LGBTQ+ rights for years, and together they reflect on how far we’ve come and what else schools can be doing to be LGBTQ+ inclusive.
5: The Such Stuff Christmas Cracker Bonanza
18:19In our final episode of the year, some of the wonderful Such Stuff team offer up festive readings, poems and stories that bring joy and contemplation at this time of year. We’re calling it out very own Such Stuff Christmas Cracker Bonanza; pull the cracker, and who knows what you’ll find inside? We hear from actor Paul Ready, lecturer and research fellow Dr Will Tosh, multimedia production officer Sophie Wells and artistic director Michelle Terry.
4: A Christmas miracle?
18:35In our second advent episode, we turn to a snowy story from the history of the Globe theatre, our very own Christmas miracle. In the icy winter of 1598, a theatre was dismantled on the north side of the river, the timbers rolled through the snowy streets of London, and the Globe theatre was born on the south side of the river. But what really happened that wintery night between Christmas and New Year in 1598? Was the Globe really built in a day? Our very own historical Scrooge Dr Will Tosh does some all-important myth busting with artistic director and ardent miracle-believer Michelle Terry. The resulting story we uncover might be a little less flamboyant… but maybe, just maybe, it’s no less magical.
3: She's behind you!
41:41With the festive season upon us, we dedicate the first of our advent offerings on Such Stuff to that great theatrical festive tradition... panto! With artists and theatre makers Jenifer Toksvig, Ess Grange, Jude Christian and our artistic director Michelle Terry, we delve into the rich history and contemporary stylings of panto, including our very own festive show, Christmas at the (Snow Globe). So, we’ll be reminiscing about pantos of Christmas past, discussing the joys and pitfalls of tradition and thinking about why this communal form of theatre is so important, in this year of all years. Oh no it isn’t... oh yes it is!
2: Fear, conjuring and catharsis in Macbeth
28:16In this episode, we return to the subject of Shakespeare and Fear, unpicking the relationship between our very real fears and anxieties and our obsession with ghost stories, hauntings and imaginary terrors. As part of our digital festival exploring the subject, our 2018 production of Macbeth returns to the candlelit Sam Wanamaker Playhouse as Macbeth: A Conjuring, a semi-staged reading. So, we revisited interviews with director Rob Hastie and actors Michelle Terry and Paul Ready on conjuring, superstition and catharsis. And we caught up with Dr Will Tosh to discuss the uncanny resonances between today’s fearful state of affairs and the bitter winter in which Shakespeare wrote Macbeth.