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When the World is Loud is produced by Mortal Fools
Available to listen for free – links via the Mortal Fools website

If there’s one key benefit we’re missing from live theatre during lockdown its being fully, totally and completely immersed in something. Something that isn’t Coronavirus, lockdown stresses or eye tests at Barnard Castle.

We’ve all been totally and utterly bombarded with negativity, stress, fear and, above all – NOISE. And that’s exactly what this immersive audio theatre experience from Mortal Fools is designed to stop. And I can vouch for the fact that it did!

When the World is Loud is from Mortal Fools – a multi-award winning theatre, drama and creative learning charity based in Northumberland but working across the wider North of England. They’ve taken mental health pretty seriously in their work, exploring the topic through the eyes of young people in past productions. So it was no surprise that their latest work not only explores mental health – it actually positively impacts the wellbeing of the listener too. At least, it did for me.

Featuring the voices of young people and communities from across the North East, this 75-minute experience (and it is just that – an experience) takes you on a journey that allows you to escape the noise and find hope.

For me, it set my week off really well! I am a terrible home-worker. I struggle to take breaks, I work in evenings and weekends. My brain rarely switches off. And even when it does, it’s taking in some kind of horrific horror film or gut-wrenching drama. It’s like I don’t care about what I put into my brain. The horror films are all well and good – but they need to be balanced with something a little more…hopeful. Especially when the entire world seems to be taking part in a real life horror story right now.

But that’s the thing. There are so many wonderful and amazing things that are happening in the world today – we’ve just become so obsessed with the noise we forget to take a moment and take them in.

When I first put my headphones on and clicked on the Spotify track I was instructed to find the most relaxing part of my home and get comfortable in it (note – you can do the whole experience outside – I just didn’t trust the clouds enough to stray too far). I laon the sofa in our brightest room with my head towards the fish tank which was trickling away nicely in the background (and which really complemented the commentary).

There was talk of water sounds, and there was dancing, and, generally, escape. And the idea that escape is a bad thing was also explored. Which really chimed because at the very beginning of the experience I was struggling to shake the feeling that I should be sitting at my laptop typing away.

The piece guides you to other locations in your home or chosen area – not by naming them specifically, but by asking you to find your most social place or the place with the widest view.
I ended up in my garden, being taken up into the clouds, feeling the sun just slightly warming up my toes and watching the bunny hop about in her run. And the sound in my ears – it wasn’t noise. It was hope. And light. And, basically, it was just a really lush experience.

Once the track ended I realised the time had flown by! I didn’t feel guilty for taking the time out because I felt calm and relaxed (as someone who was told to give up caffeine due to my anxiety disorder this is a feeling I regularly crave). I stood still in the middle of my lawn for a few quiet moments before moving back into the house. When I sat back at my desk, I had a little smile on my face. If the arts are there to provoke us, then When the World is Loud certainly provoked a rare mid-week feeling of calm and happiness.

Oh, and listen out for the MP too!

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