Charlotte Vincent tells us about her latest work
Vincent Dance Theatre will premiere the national tour of its new production In Loco Parentis at Worthing’s Connaught Theatre on 3 March 2020. We caught up with Artistic Director Charlotte Vincent to find out more about the show.
Charlotte, tell us what In Loco Parentis is about.
In Loco Parentis follows on from Vincent Dance Theatre’s 2018 production Art of Attachment, where I was commissioned - alongside poet and broadcaster Lemn Sissay - to create a new production with substance misusing women from Brighton’s Oasis Project. Performed to a sold out audience at Attenborough Centre for Creative Arts in November 2018 , Art of Attachment explored the impact of drug and alcohol misuse on the attachment between mothers and their children. The work focussed on the women’s story and - as one piece always leads to the next - this production made me want to revisit the experience of some of the children I had come across. Based on real-life testimonies, In Loco Parentis illuminates the extraordinary inner worlds of care-experienced children, their parents and carers, reflecting on a more universal need to be looked after, to be safe and to belong.
Who do you think this piece will most appeal to?
Anyone (14+) who enjoys stories. Anyone who enjoys interdisciplinary, intergenerational, crafted, thought-provoking performance. Anyone who cares about understanding difference. Anyone with experience of the care system. Anyone who has grown up in a nonconventional family. Anyone who hasn’t.
As an artist, what drives your exploration of these challenging societal issues?
Equality, mostly. The need for understanding and compassion rather than judgement. The need for young people to be heard. If I can use the platform I have for any of that then I’m in.
In Loco Parentis features text from the brilliant Wendy Houstoun. How did you come to be working with her?
I've known Wendy for a long time and we collaborated way back in 2000 on a piece called If We Go On. She worked on Art of Attachment, translating medical records and some of the women’s stories into searing, beautiful texts.
This piece is the result of recording conversations and running workshops with care-experienced young people and the adults in their lives. How have you incorporated this research into the work?
The research has helped me process and understand what it feels like to be in care, what preoccupies kids in care and their carers and just how much support they need to feel safe. The same themes occur around loss, resilience, hypervigilance, avoidance, diligence, fear, comfort and the need to belong and be loved. I have many recordings and am looking forward to editing them into useable texts – that performers may use to generate material, that Wendy may use as starting points for her imaginative flights, that may form part of the soundtrack of the work itself.
The last two live productions have provided the choreographic and performative material for consequent film installation work. Does the company have plans to do the same with In Loco Parentis?
Yes. We’re touring to seven venues in March 2020 and again in September / October. We’ll also be filming and creating the installation piece this year and will premiere it shortly afterwards – watch this space!
For full In Loco Parentis tour dates and to book tickets click here