Cyber Fooling - Guest Blog from Bee Golding

Jun 11 2020

Holly Stoppit
Image credit: screen shot of cyber fools

Hello dear readers, please welcome back to the stage, guest blogger, Holly Stoppit Workshops Radministrator and Poet in Residence, Bee Golding! 

I asked Bee to write about her experience of being part of the Fools Play group, earlier this year and here's what she wrote: 

At the beginning of March a group of 20 fools gathered to play. They'd signed up for 10 weeks of weekly playtimes, at the swanky Radnor Rooms in the heart of Bristol (see picture below).

Holly Stoppit
Image credit: Holly Stoppit in the swanky Radnor Rooms

The Fools Play group was made up of members of Holly's performance company, Beyond The Ridiculous (BTR), some middlingly-seasoned fools, and a new batch of fools from recent trainings with Holly. Each week there would be check-ins and mindfulness meditations, guided movement and reflection, solo and group play. Holly would lead some, and members of Beyond The Ridiculous would facilitate sessions around their own specialities of voice (Aisha Ali), movement (Dominique Fester), storytelling (Naomi Smyth) and presence (Ed Rapley).

The group met twice, rubbed shoulders, played together, started to bond.

And then lockdown hit.

There was a flurry of quick thinking, rearranging, reorganising, development, panic and exhilaration. And cyber fooling was born.

For the next eight weeks the fools met online. The first few weeks had live check-ins and then recorded exercises and written reflection prompts provided by the BTR team. The final three were all conducted live on zoom, we checked in and played together, each in our own place, guided by Holly and supported by Dominique. For many of us, in this roller-coaster-corona-time, it was the only regular thing we were able to hold on to each week - it got us through.

Here's a poem I wrote, using some words from our final gathering and reflection, and some words of my own.

Bee x 

(Holly Stoppit Workshops Radministrator and poet-in-residence)

Holly was the captain of that ship of fools
Without a map - there was no map -
For those strange times and starless nights
We navigated blind together
And her crew, too, came to our aid
Whispered to us dances and plucked unknown songs
That were hidden inside our own hearts

We were willing explorers
Hesitantly stepping into our own resistance
Deep diving detectives playing with
Everything and nothing, the void and the full.
And our troupe of players
Casting about
In a sea so dark below
We did not know, but knew
There must be dragons
And mermaids
And dark iron weed to pull us down
And singing moondrops
And golden dawns to pull us right back up.
I watched myself cry
And I cried for you
We shared our masks
You and we
Played me and them and us

We are a crochet blanket
Crafted by the fingers of our ancestors
A patchwork quilt of woven squares
Each one different yet part of the whole
Dropped stitches caught with friendships
Ships caught in the spotlights
Of lighthouses, illuminating
And anchors, grounding
We are rocks in a stormy sea
Sirens singing out to each other across the waves

We are a tribe seeking sanity through play
Accepted outsiders embracing our weirds
Expressing anything
Bringing the whole of our selves
Into our little zoom places
Boxes of people
Glimpsing rooms and moments of lives

We will not perish
The fool’s journey -
This unexpectedly amazing journey -
Is not over
This part we stepped, tripping together
Beyond our screens
We turned ankles, grazed knees
Wind-lashed, we climbed to viewpoints
With endless horizons
Breathed the thin air together at the top of the peaks

We built forts to hide in
With infinite permission
Where all we could see
Were our eyes glinting
Safe in it together
Sharing our stories
History and future
And now
And now
And now.

If you'd like to read about Holly's other lockdown projects, look no further:

Behind the scenes of Voices of Lockdown Live and Unleashed

Creative Consultancy

Clown Workouts

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