Interview with Tell Tale Hearts

Tuesday 4 June 2019

Tell Tale Hearts devise new stories and play with old tales to deliver interactive theatre experiences for primary children, younger years and their grown ups too.  They are running workshops at NAYT’s Raising The Game training events in September (details here).

We asked Natasha from Tell Tale Hearts some questions about their work:


What can delegates expect from your workshops at Raising The Game?

Plenty of fun, lots of open-ended materials/props to support new ways of engaging younger participants and the opportunity to explore how dramatic ritual can be used in collaborative theatre making when devising with children.


What do you love most about working with children?

That they surprise you and are able to share their pleasure on the stage openly. I love the sense of ensemble that builds when devising with them collaboratively and most of all that they help me to view the world through my heart.


Why is collaboration with children and young people important to your work?

Because they are great artists in their own right and are not afraid to challenge. They help you to keep answering the 'why?' in your process and stay focused. Children will often open your eyes to new possibilities in the work too. Most of our work is participatory in some way and collaborating with children is vital to help us create meaningful interactions rather than tokenistic ones.


What is 'dramatic ritual'?  

Essentially I use it as a theatrical tool. Children's lives are made up of all of sorts of rituals: dinnertime, play time, tidy-up time, bedtime, etc... these are familiar to all children and therefore wonderful opportunities to exploit theatrically. Our show, Yummm! was created by researching and devising around dinner time, Inside Out was developed through researching & playing with getting dressed (or undressed). We also use dramatic ritual to carve out space when in non theatrical spaces, to facilitate participation within a show or to given heightened meaning to a particular theme, emotion or event in the drama. This works particularly well for very young children, non verbal, EAL, SEN & PMLD audiences. In Wave, for young people with PMLD and autism, we used paper boats which participants could sail away at the end of the show as part of the ritual of saying, good-bye.