Bed is a touring live art / street theatre performance event co-designed by a group of emerging older artists (in their 70s and 80s) from south-east London. Loneliness and social isolation are huge issues faced by the older population. 51% of all people in the UK over 75 years old live alone. Members of the company co-created the work with live artist Malcolm Buchanan-Dick because they needed to make a creative response to the feelings of invisibility that they experience on a day to day basis. The performance comprises of a single bed containing an older person in their nightclothes ‘abandoned’ in a public space. Audiences who pause and witness the performance are able to catch fragments of narrative from the older performer that provide glimpses into the day to day preoccupations of so many hidden and invisible lives. Bed was first performed in and around the streets of Deptford southeast London as part of the BOLD Festival in Stockton, Bradford and London celebrating creativity in older age.
About Entelechy Arts
Entelechy Arts believes that arts practice has a central role to play in re-imagining civic connections between historically marginalised individuals and groups. The company creates exciting and challenging art forged from the collision of different worlds and life experiences, across generations, across cultures and across abilities. Performance work includes Big Chair Dance (Southbank Centre) Storm in a Tea Cup (Casa das Fases, Londrina Brazil) Little Boxes (Museum of London) Home Sweet Home (Freedom Studios Bradford, ARC Stockton).
Bed is a co-production between Entelechy’s Artistic Director, David Slater, Sculptor and Digital Artist Malcolm Buchanan-Dick and members of Entelechy’s Elders Performance Company. ‘We speak about the past and the present. We sit down and we plan shows. All of us sit down and all of us write it together. We haven’t got any scriptwriter. At our age we take risks: You don’t know what you are going into but you’ve got to take that risk. We want to be remembered’ Gwen Sewell.
Funding, commissioning and partner credits
Commissioned by Without Walls, Brighton Festival and Winchester Hat Fair.
Supported by Arts Council England and London Borough of Lewisham.