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Northcott Artist Lucy Bell to create new film about resilience across the generations

Devon-based playwright, Lucy Bell, is to create a new film, ‘Grown Ups’ to be released in July. Inspired by interviews undertaken by students from Dawlish College with people in their 70s, 80s and 90s, ‘Grown Ups’ will share stories across generations, gathering reflections on life from people with a broad range of perspectives and experiences.

Whilst researching the project the students spoke to to Lynda who moved from Sierra Leone to England when she was 12 years old; Philip, now 93, who served in World War II and remembers his ‘best thing since sliced bread’ wife; and Graham, a shepherd from Birmingham, who recalls his days as a music promoter and the moment he shook Nelson Mandela’s hand. In the wake of the pandemic and as we grapple with what a ‘new normal’ looks like, their stories will be woven together in a new script which will share their moving, poignant and often humorous perspectives on this unique moment in our history.

As I face the fact that my parents are in their eighties, I want to explore what that vantage point looks like. I want to know what feels important as you age, so that I can try to live meaningfully now.

Lucy Bell, Exeter Northcott Associate Artist

Lucy Bell is a Northcott Associate and Director of Documental Theatre. Since winning the prestigious Kevin Elyot Award last summer she has written five short stories set on a fictional Devon Island called Exiles; developed a play The Ha-Ha which was long-listed in the Paines Plough Women’s Prize; written a video monologue called Comfort Stop and has overseen the production pf six new podcasts and radio plays for a project called Props.

Prior to being selected as a Northcott Associate Artist, Lucy graduated from Exeter Northcott’s Futures programme which gives support to Devon-based theatre-makers and was commissioned to create Grown Ups as one of the theatres The Time (for change) is Now commissions.

For years, Devon has been quite a tough eco-system in which to create work. The problem with that is this: the issues and stories which affect people living regionally, particularly in the South West, don’t get a wider airing. South West communities can feel like they are not entitled to author or influence ground-breaking arts. It is so brilliant that ENT has been systematically arming homegrown artists with the resources they need to thrive and sustain their careers. I am so delighted to be supported by ENT because the talented team there are capable of making all sorts of ambitious goals come true. It’s genuinely time to “level up” the theatre landscape.

Grown Ups will be shared in July via the Exeter Northcott website.