Scarabeus Theatre: Fall to Fly

Sky Neal collaborated with Scarabeus Theatre over a period of a month, bringing her skills in filmmaking, ethnographic research and performance. This included identifying, and subsequently filming and interviewing collaborators who had suffered from self harming. These testimonies became an essental component of the project.

Sky worked closely with project director Daniela Essart to explore and investigate the sensitive issue of visual and aural representation around self harming, and both her video art and audio recordings contributed to the R&D performance.

Fall to Fly R&D

Client: Scarabeus Aerial Theatre

Length 3:17


"FALL TO FLY explores a different way of talking about and perceiving young women's mental health: specifically self-harming, depression.

We aim to open doors to different conversations that create knowledge about the subject, and provoke a change in perception moving from stigma towards empathy and support.

We are interpreting these difficult topics through aerial skills and visual theatre. By collecting testimonials, we aim to give a clear and potent voice to a number of young women who use self-harm as a coping mechanism to numb pain. We are looking at why they do it, their recovery processes, and how to maintain balanced mental health through empowering change.

We are exploring a metaphorical language of shadows, because the stigma of mental health is often associated with not being seen or heard. We are using a giant net, where our characters are trapped, a suspended aerial sphere, which symbolises the hurricane of thoughts racing through the mind. Aerial straps represent the ability to unburden oneself of the weight and take flight. The same apparatus that trap us, are also the ones that will support and set us free.

Researched in collaboration with Dr Martina Di Simplicio, Dr Zoe Given-Wilson & Prof. Ian Goodyer and R&D supported by Arts Council England"