‘It’s my party, and I’ll cry if I want to.
Cry if I want to.
Cry, if I want to.’

It’s nearly the end of the show. Imagine the wreckage of a child’s birthday party – one that had all of the cliches, and went horribly, hilariously wrong. The floor is covered in cake and jelly and confetti. Torn bunting and banners hang from the ceiling. A small fire has broken out amongst the remnants of a hideous piñata. Lesley Gore is playing at half-speed on the stereo. There are five people strewn about the stage. One is sitting softly crying into a pile of party popper streamers. Two are furiously wrestling over a bright pink fairy wand and a plastic gun. One – a clown – is apparently unconscious, broken crockery scattered around them. The other is unable to stop frantically dancing as blue, red and green lights flash and a disco ball spins.

FEELS will be a new performance for ages 8+ about emotions and gender – the feelings we’re allowed to feel, the ones we’re told not to feel, the ugly ones, the funny ones, the sad ones. The feelings that we’re told don’t belong to us yet, or never will. The feelings that are ‘for girls’ or ‘for boys’. It will investigate how we express emotion and how this relates to our performance of gender, and to the social constructions of childhood/adulthood.

FEELS is being developed through Imaginate’s Accelerator programme and with support from a residency with The Work Room and Platform.