Frag-mENTAL was developed as part of the Exchange for Change programme and was presented on the Festival Day, 24 June 2010.
A note from the Director:
The creation of Frag-mENTAL by a group of artists who had not worked together before, began with the sharing of an object or memory from our teenage years, followed by brainstorming what we remembered ‘surrounding’ our teenage lives. What surfaced was how overwhelming and intense things are as a teenager. Next challenge, was to develop a creative language between our different artforms – beatbox, dance and illustration – and bring it to life. How on earth could we create something that challenged and interwove all of these skills? Theories about practice and methodology seemed redundant – it was trust,
laughter and an honest appreciation of each other, that gave the confidence to experiment. “Experiment, experiment” became the mantra. There were elusive moments of creative excellence, which seemed to slip out of our grasp, but left a collective imprint – enough for us to decide a story: ‘a young man in a moment of crisis, two brothers’. Vital development and affirmation was provided by the young people we encountered in the workshops at Stepney Green and Swanlea Schools. The students literally devoured the theme of family and brothers, thought the dance was ‘sick’ and the beatboxing left their jaws on the floor. These sessions yielded loads of creative ideas and then the nuts and bolts of creating a new play began. The story came together – a young person lost in a weird ‘game show’ space of the mind. Illustration shone like a beacon in the process, engendering shared appreciation and inspiration. Methodology? Listen, bring yourself to the process, no-one can ask anything more.