Anyone who has been following the streaming groups may know that I have been working on a project with our Christmas Show. Jock and the Beanstalk. The idea came about following work with staff. We asked what did people think was a worthwhile use of digital technology. And this one popped up and everyone said let’s give it a go. I’ll be writing up the project in more detail after Jan plus some evaluation work with staff and the hospitals. So more information to follow on the ups and downs.
So here is the details.
Arts and Theatres Trust Fife (AttFife) will screen a special free performance of its Christmas show, Jock and the Beanstalk, by award-winning theatre company Wee Stories, from Dunfermline’s Carnegie Hall to children’s wards in six hospitals across Scotland, as well as transmitting it across various digital media to a wider audience.
The hospitals and hospice included in the project are Forth Park Children’s Ward in Kirkcaldy, Queen Margaret Children’s Ward in Dunfermline, Sick Kids in Edinburgh, Ninewells Children’s Ward in Dundee, Rachel House Hospice in Kinross and Sick Kids in Yorkhill, Glasgow.
Over the last few months we have been working closely with each hospital involved in the project to understand the needs of both patients and staff. In so doing, we have developed a tailored approach to suit each individual hospital depending on the needs of patients and their technical resources. So, for instance, in one hospital, children may be settling down to watch Jock and the Beanstalk on the large screens in their wards or playrooms; in Dundee and Glasgow, the Medi-cinema facilities can be utilized, and in others, the conference facilities usually reserved for teaching purposes, but perfectly suitable for screening and also access to the internet, will be used. The idea to apply use of the facilities in this way had simply never been considered before.
The project includes a pre-recorded performance on 21st December in the children’s wards with a live link-up via the internet to Carnegie Hall so that children can ask questions in real-time of the production team and actors. A live stream of the full show proved difficult with the consistancy of Broadband and the last thing we wanted was for the show to buffer or connection collpase.
Staff from AttFife and volunteers from each hospital will also be on hand to make the family party atmosphere spread from Fife to each of the hospitals in Scotland. Each hospital will be given a Jock and the Beanstalk Christmas fun box, containing craft activities, colouring- in pens and stickers, and there will be face-painting. The children in hospital, their families and staff, will be able to enjoy a Christmas show even though they are in hospital.
In addition to the screening in hospitals on 21st December, Jock and the Beanstalk will be shown on SOLUS plasma screens in up to 250 public waiting areas in hospitals across Scotland, the first time cultural content will be made available on this network.
SOLUS will also be providing a Web-based TV channel where the performance may be viewed on demand. This will be particularly beneficial to some children who are not well enough on the day to see the group screening, or if children simply want to catch up again with other friends and family. The staff may also want to view again over the festive period.
So 21st December is D-day for the event and then plenty of opportunity to follow up with us on how the whole process went, the highs and lows. The things we thought about and the things that were unexpected.