Rehearsals are well under way! From all the material we gathered over our development weeks, things are taking shape, and Curious Shoes is beginning to emerge! Yesterday, Alice’s delicately and painstakingly-made model set began to become a full-scale reality, giving body and space to our curious world.

Beautiful objects and all manner of musical instruments were popping up around us as we performers spent some time perfecting the art of giving compliments. It is difficult to give a good compliment. Not because we don’t mean it, but because maybe we feel embarrassed, or shy, or it might seem that the other person doesn’t need it. But we all like to receive genuine compliments because it makes us feel seen, and noticed, and good. We are more likely to wear that stripey jumper again if somebody has taken the time to comment on how much it suits us. Working as an Elderflower, I have learnt that saying something specific and truthful can be the beginning of a wonderful interaction or even friendship. You have to really look at the person, and really see them if you want to make a connection.

Once we had finished thoroughly complimenting each other, (and were feeling special and loved!) we continued on to find the unique and remarkable in the everyday objects around us. It was fascinating to me to notice how these ordinary things took on a new shine and importance once I had heard them being complimented – I will never see the small piece of yellow tape stuck to the rehearsal room floor in the same light again. Brian has surely made a friend for life!

Suzanna Ferguson