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Ayesha's Blog

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GOSH

17 October
Ayesha Casely-Hayford with The Unicorn Theatre and Great Ormond Street delivery Aesop fables to the children and their families
Delivering Love

GOSH – Great Ormond Street Hospital, welcomed The Unicorn Theatre, who invited me, to visit the children and their families and share some stories.

Background

The Unicorn Theatre is an amazingly focused and specialist theatre aimed at audiences aged 2 to 21. Having been to watch their shows at the London Bridge venue, I found the shows challenging, engaging, and able to be fundamentally real yet still full of imagination.

I was invited to be part of a project, that would go to Great Ormond Street Hospital.

The project was to take a collection of modern adaptations of Aesop fables, via audio, to the children and their families. It wasn’t just any audio though. The audio was binaural, that is, fully sensory. It is like the action is in your head, travelling from one side to the other, right there with you.

Job?

We sometimes get involved with jobs out of pure enthusiasm, and before we really know what it entails, right? Well, that’s what happened here. This was an opportunity to have creative licence to develop how the stories would be presented and delivered, I could not say no.

At GOSH, to protect their individual health needs, the children cannot interact with each other. Therefore, I was going into each child’s room, one at a time. Seeing the child, and the family member they were with, gauging the energy in the room. The levels of engagement needed from me. It was not a job, but a delicate relationship. A hugely rewarding challenge.

How I Really Felt

Nothing could prepare me for this experience. It was very overwhelming to be there with a sole purpose of uplifting others in a hospital environment. It was intense to experience the family member who was present, and share the experience of their child being in hospital. There were many facilitators there, artists, even dogs! Just trying to vary the day, and normalise the day for the children. Trying to make a child smile.

My time at GOSH was unforgettable.

Aesop Fables

It helped that the stories I was taking around were pure excellence. I had three stories from a selection of eight, which had been performed at The Unicorn in August 2019. Being part of this, was a huge honour. Endless thanks to GOSH, and The Unicorn, and endless respect.

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