TOI TOI’s devised theatre-on-film performance about a child’s journey through anxiety is showing at Eden Cinemas on 5 December at 11am
A new devised theatre performance aims to show children that facing the storm of anxiety is not always as scary as it seems.
Produced by the TOI TOI Learning and Participation Programme through Teatru Manoel, The Storm is devised and performed by the TOI TOI Collective, directed by Chiara Hyzler and stars Becky Camilleri, Michela Farrugia, Michaela Fenech and Tina Rizzo.
“The inspiration behind The Storm, came from the team,” explains Ms Hyzler. “We quickly landed upon the theme of anxiety, as it resonated with all of us in one way or another. As a teacher I’m drawn to it, as I’ve noticed an increase in anxiety traits in children’s behaviour. We shared our individual stories on the theme and took inspiration from a book about an underworld where everything is flipped upside down and little things are exaggerated. Through the creative process we developed the concept of a ladder with this underworld as a departing point, playing with objects to shape the characters in the piece.”
The Storm shows a child’s journey through anxiety, exploring the expectations and pressures that children feel as they strive to express themselves. With the input of Francesca Diacono, an inclusivity coordinator who works with children with anxiety, the team devised main character Georgie’s journey through the underworld and the various energetic, whimsical yet relatable characters they meet along the way.
“Over the challenges of the last few years especially, children’s mental health has been challenged like never before,” says Kate Fenech Field, TOI TOI Learning and Participation Programme Manager. “With all that they have had to overcome, it is important to now share with children a performance that helps them understand and weather the storm of whatever they are dealing with. Of course, there is no one solution or answer to anxiety – and The Storm doesn’t seek to give one – but it is a theme that merits exploration today more than ever.”
The one-off theatre-on-film performance of The Storm will be shown at Eden Cinemas on 5 December at 11am – and Ms Hyzler hopes the PG-rated show will help audience members of any age face their own battle with anxiety.
“Everybody has a storm; everybody suffers from anxiety, although you might not even know it,” she concludes. “It’s impossible not to be suffering from anything since we go through life with so many pressures. The sooner we recognise it then the sooner we can face it. And when we face it, it doesn’t go away forever, but we learn how to cope with it. Through The Storm, we hope we can help people to face their own personal storm, weather it, learn what it looks like and find a way to move through it, whether that’s through writing poetry, dancing, becoming more organised – whatever works for you. It’s about anticipation of anxiety and overcoming it on a personal level.”
The Storm shows at Eden Cinemas on 5 December 2021 at 11am. Further information and tickets are available at www.edencinemas.com.mt.