Enabling People to Tell their Stories July 2011

Over the last 5 years company Paradiso has had a great time working with young offenders, prisoners and ex-offenders, people supported by mental health services and children in care, to enable people to tell their own stories.

I’m intrigued by the way so much of what I do now as Director of Company Paradiso draws on skills from the past. The most important skill is getting people with different talents (and now, with different stories to tell) together on a project with a freedom to create and opportunities to develop.

I also like to keep things open. In our radio weeks, we try to prepare well but are often collecting material and making decisions right up to the last minute.

One of Jacque Lecoq’s sayings was (I’m paraphrasing) ‘If something comes up that’s better, change to that, right up to the minute you do it on stage.’

Often our best bits of radio,or our most interesting participants arrive at the last minute. It’s as if at that point suddenly you know exactly what you need.