Potholes on Mars is a whimsical parody of Carl Sagan’s classic TV astronomy show Cosmos that gleefully dances on the shoulders of scientific giants while conjuring up a universe of its own.
Potholes on Mars is the brainchild of a talented and diverse cast of actors, carers and enablers from the Creative Connections programme, a collaboration between the Northcott, The Pelican Project and Four of Swords, through which young people with a range of learning and physical disabilities can make performance work.
Their involvement in the Beyond Gaia theatre show at Exeter Cathedral earlier this year opened a world of creative possibilities that they fully embraced in Potholes on Mars.
The show kicked off with a bang as the group transformed themselves into a solar system on stage. The Pelican Project’s Director Charlie Robinson linked arms and flared torches with group members Adam and Zoe to become ‘the sun’. Other group members orbited around them with blue umbrellas and flowing plastic sheets in a mesmerising cosmic ballet.
“I liked everything about it. I liked the lights, which gave it a good atmosphere and using the torches. I would love to do it again, it was fun.” – Creative Connections participant
From there, the group embarked on a series of TV-style ‘science experiments’. They engaged in all manner of arts and crafts for an imaginary studio audience, wrapping things up with a descent into gleeful mayhem: they dangled tiny planets from fishing poles, shot silly string through the air and filled our auditorium with laughter.
“It was a very special experience having our session on the real stage. The lighting, acoustics and space created a sense of excitement for the group. The Northcott invigorated the participants’ creativity and gave a new angle for people to absorb.” – Parent of Creative Connections participant
Potholes on Mars marks the first time that Creative Connections will perform on the Northcott stage. The group have dived into the exciting world of live lighting and sound, further expanding their creative horizons.
“The opportunity for participants to use the stage at The Northcott was a really important step. Many of the young people we work with, and their families, have experienced rejection and loss of opportunity since leaving formal education. Many question whether they will ever get those opportunities, recognition and support they received at school. To see them in such a key space our community, with access to professional resources, was very special and marks a recognition of their potential and the prominent role they can play in shaping Exeter’s creative landscape.” – Charlie Robinson, Director at The Pelican Project
Creative Connections workshopped this performance at Positive Light Projects, where they meet every Tuesday evening. If you would like to learn more about or join the group, please contact our Projects and Participation Producer Lisa Hudson using the below button.
This project is supported by the National Lottery Awards for All funding.
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