Grow Up and Just Love Chocolate

‘Grow Up and Just Love Chocolate’ is a poetic journey about a young man Dave (The Shouting Mute) working out how to live his life. The story interweaves his many different relationships, including comic book heroes and the inanimate objects, made animate, that he relies on to help him along his journey. The spirit of his dearest school friend, Terry, is also there to listen and help Dave discover who, or what, he really loves.

‘Grow Up and Just Love Chocolate’ is coming to venues across the South West in 2019. The Shouting Mute has handpicked a creative team of performers, designers, creative enablers and advisors for a production week at The Lighthouse, Poole, before opening a triple bill at the Salisbury Playhouse on 15th February for Fest West 2019.

This performance has been written, directed and stars The Shouting Mute, and will be confirmed at other venues later in the year including Lab programming at TR2 (Theatre Royal Plymouth). If you would like to book, please email dave@theshoutingmute.com

Research and Development

With an award from Arts Council England, Grants for the Arts and supported by Diverse City and Lighthouse Poole, ‘Grow up and Just Love Chocolate’ undertook a period of research and development in November 2017 with the aim of exploring how poetry could be performed in different creative ways. The Shouting Mute aims to promote communication through poetry and creativity. By merging art forms, poetry becomes more accessible and appealing to a wider audience.

Through exploring the concept of how many voices an artist may have, The Shouting Mute, who has to use a computerised voice to speak, wanted to use different mediums to create a visual language to support his monotone electronic voice and the poetry he writes. By using movement, performance, puppetry, film and music, different styles of ‘voices’ were created to explore the relationships we have in the world.

During the research and development period, The Shouting Mute initially explored actors taking over his voice and performing his poetry using different accents and vocal ranges to bring a new voice to his words. But by taking out his electronic voice completely it lost an aspect of himself and it became difficult to see his world. So he reintroduced his voice and performance alongside that of performers to create a dialogue within his poetry.

This mix of electronic voice , physical voice and visual voices created colour, energy and vibrancy, enabling a deeper meaning and emotion to be conveyed within the work . Relationships within our daily lives were explored resulting in a narrative that took the audience on the journey of what its like growing up and suddenly finding yourself as an adult.

‘Grow up and Just Love Chocolate’ uses a variety of techniques to express and explore the human voice. As a poet The Shouting Mute uses an alternative communication device, which allows him to question and challenge his audience about who’s voice they imagine when they hear the emotionless robotic voice of his communication device. What emotions and feelings can be conveyed in monotone?

‘Grow up and Just Love Chocolate’ uses the voices of live actors, film, music, and movement to explore our relationships with the people and the things around us to ask what voice we have in these relationships? Can a female voice be in a males mind? How many voices does a mind have? And what is your true voice?

The Next Step

After the success of the research and development period, and the feedback from the invited audience of a ‘work in progress’, The Shouting Mute has now developed the show in to a touring production with the aim to build partnerships with key venues across the South West region and London. With the right funding The Shouting Mute hopes to develop the artistic content as well as to create a touring infrastructure which will allow the production to tour more widely and ensure the work has the widest possible reach.