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Arts and Health Programme Update

15 September 2016

One of the things that is perhaps most wonderful about the theatre is returning to that childhood state of make-believe, re-connecting with a sense of play, suspending disbelief and exploring a world of infinite possibilities. As, Oscar Wilde once wrote: "I love acting, its so much more real than life."

In recent years lots of theatrical shows have challenged social taboos using autobiographical material in the creation of their work - exploring real life stories and scenarios around gender, masculinity, mental health & illness. But what can staging these dream-like theatrical autobiographies do to impact our health and wellbeing? Can theatre really change the way we think and act? We'd like to think so...

Watching theatre or dance offers a wonderful time to think. And it's not just a virtual escape from the everyday into the imaginary - its also a very practical one. Watching live work - be it theatre or dance - brings together a wide-range of perspectives, offers us a chance to explore, express and resolve highly complex emotions and relationships. And the theatre certainly, unlike pubs, restaurants, libraries and cinemas, feels like the last public space in our society where phones and taking photographs are still largely unacceptable.

This season we present some of the finest work and most talented practitioners exploring mental health, recovery, identity and social isolation, as well as a whole a range of practical classes, workshops and opportunities to come together & get creative.

Every Brilliant Thing

Monday 19 September, 7:30pm

A Play About Depression: "possibly one of the funniest plays you'll ever see, full stop" Lyn Gardener

"Beautifully directed...perfectly cast...deeply personal. I defy anyone not to laugh and cry." ★★★★ WhatsOnStage

Every brilliant thing completed a critically acclaimed run at the Edinburgh Fringe, followed by a 16-week run at Barrow Street Theatre in New York. This cerebrated run comes to Tacchi-Morris for one night only. 


Lucy Grace's: Garden

Thursday 3 November, 7:30pm

'Quietly Revolutionary': Lucy Grace's Garden explores contemporary isolation & mental health

Garden is a solo show about contemporary isolation. A humorous and poetic story about trying to form a meaningful connection to the world, when you feel out of step with everyone else in it.

Shortlisted for The Brighton Fringe Award for Theatre Excellence. Garden is presented by How Small How Far and written by and staring Lucy Grace. 

Find out more about theatre tackling mental health issues and Garden at Edinburgh Fringe in this Guardian article


Bolder Dance Company: Dance and Creative Ageing

Only 20% of men and 17% women aged 65-74 get the recommended levels of physical exercise. For people aged over 75 this falls to 9% for men and 6% for women.


This lack of exercise is highly significant not only because taking part in physical activity improves both health and life expectancy but also because it improves our sense of wellbeing and social connection.


Dance benefits the body and the mind – improving balance, coordination and strength as well as having a proven impact on arthritis, Parkinson’s disease, dementia and depression. In fact, taking part in ballroom dancing has been shown to reduce the chances of getting dementia by 76%.


Bolder is our resident dance company who meet on Mondays from 4:30-6pm at the centre during term time. They work on a range of creative projects and are a very welcoming group. Join them for an informal cup of tea prior to the sessions at 4pm and meet Company Director Hannah Lefeurve.


“It has been exhilarating and challenging. I leave each session with a real buzz and look forward to Mondays. I don’t feel that we are being given easy things to do just because we are older. The classes challenge both my mind and body.”


Bolder are open to members aged 50+. Bolder meet on Mondays, 4-6pm at Tacchi-Morris Arts Centre 

*Stats from Shall We Dance Report,




Munchkins Early Years Dance

Dance is a proven for its capacity to lower stress, boost self-esteem and expand creative thinking. This season we are working in partnership with local dance artist Jenny Grant to offer dance opportunities in Early Years settings. Munchkins offers tailor-made, playful and exploratory dance sessions for little people with big imaginations. 

To find out more email [email protected]


Community Class Open Day

Come and try for free. This season we launch a whole range of creative activities and on the 17 September, 10am - 4pm you have the opportunity to try out these classes and activities free of charge.

Our community programme includes 23 different creative classes aimed at improving health, wellbeing and creativity and offering professional training in performing arts. 

As well as theatre and dance companies, ballet, tap, improvisation and our extremely popular professional writers workshops, also featured are: 


Whatever Theatre Company a new emerging company who work on a range of musical and theatrical projects working inclusively. Whatever Theatre particularly welcome adults with learning disabilities and their families and anyone looking to try something new. 

Singing for Fun harnesses the joy of singing in a fun community setting. Sing songs from the shows, enjoy a cup of tea and meet some local friends (Friday mornings 12-1pm, aimed at age 50+)


Pay What You Decide

If you are coming to the community day or fancy something different don't miss our new Pay What You Decide Scheme. Come and see some of the UK's finest theatre companies and Pay What You Decide after the show. 

Margo & Mr Whatsit, PaddleBoat Theatre Company Sat 17 Sept 2:30pm

Every Brilliant Thing, Paines Plough, Mon 19 Sept, 7:30pm

In Our Hands, Smoking Apples, Tues 1 Nov, 7:30pm


Pantomime in aid of Selworthy School

And finally feel like a brilliant Christmas treat for the family while supporting a wonderful cause? Shooting Stars Pantomime Company bring Aladdin, a traditional family pantomime. Performed in aid of Selworthy School in Taunton, a co-educational special school for children and young people with learning disabilities ages 4-19 years. Featuring professional Magic Circle illusions and lots of laughs this promises a daz-ling afternoon!