How to be Better


How to be Better

How to be Better, Contact Young Company 

We worked with the very talented Contact Young Company over 4 weeks of evenings in December 2015 to create a kind of alternative Christmas show that looked at self, self improvement and self awareness. The brilliant reviewer – the late, great Quiet Man Dave writes about the piece really well here: 

Exploring the pressures and complexities of improvement and aspiration, How to be Better asks how can we be our best – not someone else’s best, but our own best’

It’s a mix of promenade, interactive and staged theatre.  Contact’s Space One is transformed into a giant wooden structured mind map, stretching from the stage up to the seating.  Entering in small groups of three, you are free to sit or wander.  Performers come to you and tell you their ideas for making life better.  Set pieces are performed from the stage and from various parts of the seating.  There is a lot of interaction, as usual from CYC the performances are honest and powerful.

I love the pace of this production.  Periods of high energy (lets just say you can dance like Beyonce if you like, and you should) give ways to quiet thoughtfulness and questions of truths.   At times you watch, at others your ideas form part of the show.  The questions being addressed are complex, those somewhat intangible ideas that are hard to present as theatre.  It is huge credit to all involved that they kept the audience so engaged.  How can we be our best?  The answers are inside us, and How to be Better asks the right questions.

This is a huge and ambitious production that feels it has potential to be further developed.  The idea of asking how you can be your own best is so relevant to today’s success and image driven world, and this production finds a way to present the ideas that is completely engaging and thought provoking.