The Flames: Home and Staying In

Film and Television lecturer Kim Beveridge has recently worked on two features for the performance company “The Flames”, which deal with issues surrounding the Covid-19 Pandemic. Kim writes:

As associate artist of Tricky Hat for over 10 years I was fortunate enough to visit Japan in 2018, as part of the creative team on a research trip supported by British Council and Creative Scotland. 

In April 2020, we planned to return with a small group of performers from The Flames, Tricky Hat’s multimedia performance company for people over 50 years of age.  In  partnership with the London Panda Theatre Company they would collaborate with some older people in Sendai,  to create a multi-media performance event.

After the Great Eastern Japan earthquake and Tsunami of 2011, many grassroots arts projects sprung up in the Sendai and Tōhoku area. Building on this theme, Tricky Hat intended to use performance, film and music to explore people’s past, present and dreams for the future.

This project is supported by the British Council Scotland and Creative Scotland partnership as part of ‘UK in Japan 2019-20’, a joint initiative by the British Council and the British Embassy Tokyo to highlight the breadth of the UK’s relationship with Japan.

Unfortunately due to the Covid-19 travel ban and the cancellation of the Olympics this year our trip was also postponed, however our creativity was not stifled. 

During the first week of lock down the Tricky Hat team and  I worked closely with The Flames both here and in Japan to create a film in response to this global pandemic. The performers invited us into their HOME taking us on a journey and showing the poetry of their daily lives. 

The questions we asked were; what do you do when you can’t leave home? How does your perception of the world change? How are you coping with no one to visit your house? What crazy activities can you think of to burst these four walls?

This was achieved by setting a series of task for the performers to respond to through film and spoken word and Tricky Hat launched this digital collaboration ‘HOME’ globally on Monday the 20th of April as the first of three short films.

The second film as part of my collaboration during lock down with The Flames is called ’STAYING IN’, which went live on  Monday the 11th of May. Now that we have settled into quarantine, what has been discovered? Hobbies?, talents?, who you really are? Dressing up and dressing down. The Flames explore what they miss and what they love in this extraordinary time. 

The Flames will continue to create work through performance, film and music, exploring stories of later life, challenging perceptions of ageing and life during lock down. Nothing can stop The Flames and their tenacity is why I love working with them!

Created by the Flames in collaboration with Tricky Hat Artists:
Kim Beveridge – Digital Artist
Mick Slaven – Musician & Composer
Aya Kobayashi – Movement Direction
Fiona Miller – Artistic Director

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