It all started years ago and you’d think it might have worn off, but it hasn’t.
I’d felt it often, but not named it, until, in 2006, my very elderly mother attended The Triumph and the Apollo at Queen Elizabeth’s Dorincourt Centre, and after the event her comment about the production was caught on video. Lost for many words at this stage in her life, she simply said “It’s the joy, the joy…..”
What my mum felt, I’m sure, was the joy shown by the performers, and responded to by the audience in full measure. When the Freewheelers perform there is an almost tangible connection between the cast and the audience (in which no-one sits back, and whose energy transmits itself to the cast). With an audience, all the performances are enhanced because of the strength the audience’s concentration brings. It’s a bit like mirrors – reflecting back and forth.
But the joy doesn’t only happen in performances. It goes on week after week in our regular workshops. It’s highly complex I think.
Our Freewheelers have something about them. They are all very different, but they have many things in common, including a great liking for people; a willingness to help and support others; the determination to succeed in whatever they set out to do; a love of performing; a sense of humour; a wish to explore new things; and great loyalty.
So they are a joy to be with.
But it doesn’t stop there because the staff and volunteers all respond to this warmth, and bring their own creativity and fun, and the sense of being useful, to the party. This coming together of people to be creative and make art, art that is as good as we can possibly make it, creates a unique atmosphere – vibrant, happy, friendly and busy.
Suddenly it is a better world.
I feel sorry for people who have never experienced this, and so grateful to have been a part of it for a large slice of my life.