Belongings: A new show exploring growing up in care

Created by acclaimed theatre ensemble Tangled Feet with Rowan Tree Dramatherapy (an organisation working with looked after children), Belongings is an inventive new production about growing up in the care system and exploring how we all need somewhere to belong and someone to belong to.

Told with Tangled Feet’s unique blend of physicality, innovative design and original music, Belongings is a show for anyone aged 6 and over who is looking to find where they fit in. We’re all trying to work out our story. Who are we? How are we shaped? Sometimes you have to find the courage to be just you. Cleo is on a journey like no other. She’s trying to discover her past whilst attempting to stay on her feet in the present. Where has she been and when will she get back? Piles of clothes become sea creatures, dresses become parachutes and shadows dance as Cleo and two new friends find a place called home.

Belongings has been developed over the past three years, co-created with young people whose realities it explores. During this process, Tangled Feet, Rowan Tree Dramatherapy, and eight young creative consultants with experience of being in care shared stories, characters, and improvisations to explore the lived experience of being in care, and to experiment with the form of the piece and how the story is shared on stage.

Tangled Feet is an ensemble who have been creating work together for 20 years. Alongside their theatrical productions, they deliver an extensive dramatherapy service across a range of educational settings in Croydon, and run a Mindfulness programme in primary and secondary schools in Luton focusing on improving and supporting young peoples’ mental health. Belongings is Tangled Feet’s third piece of therapeutic theatre for young audiences. Need A Little Help (2015- 2019) and Butterflies (2017-2022) followed the same process of working alongside a group of young creative consultants (who were already engaged in Dramatherapy) whose lived experience inspires the process. For Need A Little Help the company worked with young carers and for Butterflies they worked with children with severe anxiety. For Belongings they have partnered with Rowan Tree Dramatherapy to work with a group of young people with experience of the care system in Kent.

“The therapeutic model allows us to engage with a way of making work through consultation, workshops and a long-term participatory process. Our hope is that the piece of theatre we make is both an entertaining and enlightening experience for young audiences and their families but also offers a platform and space to process complex experiences of childhood. Tangled Feet’s
work for younger audiences seeks to engage in the challenging parts of growing up and explore them in a collaborative, creative and enriching way. We hope Belongings offers a platform for young people to discuss family, identity and friendship.”

Director Nathan Curry (and Co-Artistic Director of Tangled Feet):

Belongings is on at the Polka Theatre, Wimbledon on Feb 25th and 26th at 11.30am and 2.30pm and tickets start at £10 more info here.

Belongings is on at the Half Moon Theatre, Limehouse on March 9th and 10th at 10.30am and 1.30pm and tickets are £7 more info here.

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