Press Release  

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Queer, disabled voices disrupting traditionally straight able spaces.

Creative Electric are delighted to announce that The Happiness Project will be featuring as part of the Army @ The Fringe programme, in association with Summerhall, this year. In a programme of military focused shows Creative Electric are introducing a new type of army – one designed to stage interventions and fight to have minority voices heard.

“at first you feel a winding pain… you get used to it, then you develop a liking to it…”

The Happiness Project explores our need for non sexual physical contact in our highly digital era.

It features scenes of graphic reality TV binge watching, Whitney Houston and spooning. 
We’re not sure if any of it will make you happy but it’s worth a try. 

The Happiness Project is performed by a diverse and inclusive cast and places queer, working class and disabled peoples experiences centre stage.

“This is the first time I have felt proud to be autistic.”

Georgia, performer

After researching physical contact we discovered that the majority of people aged 16-30 years only experience physical contact when they are having sex.
No platonic hand holding.
No hugs.
No cuddling up to your pals whilst watching TV.
Only sex.

During R&D for The Happiness Project we explored the mental and physical effects regular digital connection has on a person. We spoke about social media, porn, online dating (with a focus on disabled people’s experiences) and Sophocles. We looked at Juan Mann’s Free Hugs campaign and the impact it had on both him and the people he hugged. During this research period we began to speak about how the majority of our physical contact was during sex. We found this incredibly interesting and so decided it should become the focus of a new play.

The Happiness Project tells the stories of five people in their own words and is interwoven with movement based around physical contact including awkwardness, need and violence. 

Each performer has a very different take on physical contact which has allowed us to create a piece that engages a wide demographic. It features spoken word, strong choral work and the opportunity for audiences to interact digitally.

Feedback from audiences include: 

“informed, compassionate, bold and fearless.”

Phillipa, audience member

“This feels like a return to the style of work we programmed at The Arches. I loved it. Really interesting exploration into the relationship between women and violence, Roz is an incredible performer. “

Jackie Wylie, Artistic Director, National Theatre of Scotland

“Thanks for Creative Electric’s existence and bravo to everyone who made The Happiness Project success such a wonderful thing. I was really moved by it… “

Morag Deyes, Artistic Director, Dance Base

“…a beautifully gentle triumph.”

Caroline Donald, Edinburgh International Festival

“I just wanted to say how much The Happiness Project touched my soul. I’m so glad I had attended the workshop before watching the show as well. I’ve learned so much from the energy you gave us in the workspace and feel sooo inspired by what you put on stage! “

Julienne, audience member

The Happiness Project was created by Creative Electric and originally performed at The Biscuit Factory, Edinburgh and for National Theatre of Scotland Exchange 18 at Eden Court, Inverness.

It was programmed as part of ID.Y Fest at Dance Base in October 2018 and as part of The Festival of Rest and Resistance at Battersea Arts Centre.

The Happiness Project features as part of Army @ The Fringe, Venue 210, Hepburn House at 14:20 on 2, 3, 4, 9, 10, 11, 16, 17, 18, 23, 24 & 25 August.

The Happiness Project was created by Creative Electric and originally performed at The Biscuit Factory, Edinburgh and for National Theatre of Scotland Exchange 18 at Eden Court, Inverness.

It was programmed as part of ID.Y Fest at Dance Base in October 2018 and as part of The Festival of Rest and Resistance at Battersea Arts Centre.

The Happiness Project features as part of Army @ The Fringe, Venue 210, Hepburn House at 14:20 on 2, 3, 4, 9, 10, 11, 16, 17, 18, 23, 24 & 25 August.

ABout Creative Electric

Creative Electric is a multi award winning company that creates accessible socio-political performance and live art for people that may not traditionally attend main stream arts events. 

These have included:

Shoplifter<>Shapeshifter: body positive body sculptures & physical theatre created by people with lived experience of shoplifting. 
Sinking Horses: a performative space, in which to explore, create and discuss what mental health is to an individual. 
Glittershit: an audio installation for public toilets that explores the effects of MDMA on a young person over a 3 day period. 
Wonder: an immersive playground for 16-25 year olds. 
Treat: a durational performance work exploring the importance of self-care.

Hey, I’m Alive!: a durational performance that explored the isolation of life shortening conditions by placing performers inside giant zorbs. 
Fragility: a performance with & for young men that explores the pressures of sex. 
re:place: a continuous art project that provides a creative outlet and basic living essentials for people living on the streets of Edinburgh. 

Creative Electric is led by Heather Marshall who has over 15 years experience of creating work with professional performers, community groups and non-performers. 

“Top shaggers!”

Irvine Welsh

“Creative Electric embody a creative approach which is enjoyable, accessible, topical and wildly creative – demonstrating that innovative theatre is alive and well in Edinburgh outside of August. After LeithLate, [their] Broccoli Weddings were on everyone’s lips.”

Claire Stewart, Creative Edinburgh

“…one of the rawest and best Fringe shows this year.”

5*, The Wee Review
on Desperation Bingo (winner of Fringe Zeitgeist Award)

“A deeply effecting experience”

4*, Neil Cooper, The Herald
on Auditory Hallucinations

Creative Electric run regular outreach projects in schools, community groups and public spaces.

Previously we have created work for:

ITAC4 & Carnegie Hall, New York
National Theatre of Scotland
Dance Base
Hidden Door Festival
The Traverse
The Arches
Royal Conservatoire of Scotland
Crisis
City of Edinburgh Council
Stoff (Stockholm)
UNG08 (Stockholm)
Unga Nyskapare (Stockholm)

Heather is artist in residence with BOP & The Touring Network as part of BRAW, a programme that explores the impact of placing artists within rural communities when creating work. She is using this residency to explore the impact of environment upon a person’s mental health and has been spending time in the village of Lochgoilhead and learning about communal living at Faslane Peace Camp.

Heather is also artist in residence for Edinburgh International Festival where she is based in Leith Academy’s nurture department.

Awards

Audience Choice Award. Stoff (Stockholm) for Auditory Hallucinations
Creativity Award. Creative Edinburgh for Church of Broccoli and Sinking Horses
Local Hero Award. Edinburgh for Heather’s community work with a focus on mental health.
The Fringe Zeitgeist Award. The Wee Review for Desperation Bingo. 

LISTINGS

Dates: 2nd – 25th August 2019 (Fri-Sun only)
Time: 2.20pm
Duration: 50 minutes
Venue: Army@The Fringe in association with Summerhall, V210
Tickets: £10/£8
Bookings: 0131 560 1581 | festival19.summerhall.co.uk/event/the-happiness-project

CONTACT

Heather Marshall, Artistic Director
Email: creative_electric@hotmail.com
More info: www.creative-electric.org

View The Happiness Project’s show page on our website