Taking research findings to the wider public through theatre. Raminder Kaur's play breaDth explores the grip of two interconnected viruses that are killing in the UK; COVID-19 and racial discrimination; and the importance of oxygen for our lungs and for life. The fictionalised experiences in the play are based on comprehensive research by the Consortium on Practices of Wellbeing and Resilience of BAME families and communities (Co-POWeR) and was co-developed with research participants across England and Wales.
breaDth - A creative collaboration
In the play breaDth, Co-POWeR research participant experiences and perspectives have been synthesised into multiple interconnected and interwoven narratives that expose the challenges, the love and the humour behind the stories of the lives of BAME families and communities during the COVID-19 pandemic. The core focus of the narrative came from the findings of research package 3 (WP 3) on care, caring and carers. The play was produced by Sohaya Visions in partnership with Mukul and Ghetto Tigers.
Writer and researcher Professor Raminder Kaur worked alongside dramaturg Dr Alda Terracciano to synthesise the research participant experiences and perspectives into the script for the play, breaDth. Interconnected narratives that expose the challenges, the love and the humour behind the stories of the lives of BAME families and communities are interwoven with abstract moments reflecting the more surreal experiences and historical resonances of the pandemic. Core themes are the challenges and insecurities of carers, working with zero-hours contracts, the racism experienced by many carers from BAME communities, the challenges of unpaid home care in multi-generational homes, and the pressure put on hospital staff to free up facilities and send patients back to the community.
For more on the collaborative process, see Karen Boswall's blog Collaborative creation: Co-production through play-reading and community engagement.
It is hoped the play can be reworked based on the audience and performer feedback and a new version taken to wider audiences in the future.