Robin Graham

Theatre and Creative Activities

Greenhouse Northwest was a Theatre Company run by and for people who choose to explore drama professionally but whose first career has not been the theatre. Founded in 1999, we toured several plays and ran workshops throughout the North West of England and in North Wales, and led playwriting workshops and creative activities in Ghana.

In 2011, Feelgood Communities CIC was set up to work with communities in wellbeing and creative work, and this has taken over the role of Greenhouse Northwest.

Current, ongoing and recent Projects

Commissioned to write poetry for The Co-op, Arts and Business North West, The Manchester Museum, North West Arts Board, and other organisations.

Winner of a Salford City Council poetry competition with Circle Dance.

Poet in Residence at Clitheroe Castle Museum.

Community projects in Rochdale, Tameside

Commissions for Peshkar and Abraham Moss Youth Theatre.

We plan to take it to schools from 2007.

Inspired by regular visits to Ghana since 2001.

Creative Land teaching and Tentacles Story Outlines

Created storylines and episode outlines for an online Ghanaian Soap Opera called Tentacles for film company Creative Land. Worked on other writing projects including script editing. Delivered training to students at the film school in Accra on writing for spoken word.

British Council training, Accra

Created and delivered two training courses in creative writing, one for children and one for adults.

Dreams Of An African Child

One act play about the 21st century sale of children in the River Volta region, Ghana. It tells the story of a sixteen year old boy who returns to his family after being sold eight years before. Performed in Accra, and then produced a toured in the North West of England and North Wales.

The Investor

A full length play about a UK funded investment in water supplies, nominally set in Ghana in a region suffering from drought. It raises issues about investment by developed countries in those developing.

Akosua

A full length play about an internet relationship between a British woman and a younger Ghanaian man. Anna is told by all who know her in the UK that she cannot trust her potential partner. The young Ghanaian man is looking for something different from his life. Given a script in hand performance.

Crikey Mikey’s Volta Venture, and Crikey Mikey and the Cocoa Monster

Stories in poems for children about an English boy who goes to Ghana with his parents and has magical adventures. Performed at greenroom and around the North West of England.

Greenhouse Northwest and Other Projects

Performed by Mark Stevenson, A Different Place toured nationally in 2005. "This comic and touching one-man show follows asylum-seeker Abel's attempts to create a new life for himself in Britain. In Manchester he meets Janey. Is love to be found here, as well as a new home? Can Abel find a way to deal with the tragedy of his past life and learn to laugh again?"

Winner of the Yvonne Arnaud/Stop-Gap Theatre 'Feet First' competition, A Different Place is produced by Ampersand Media and Greenhouse Northwest

"A better advertisement for Amnesty International would be hard to find" - Frances Russell

"Compelling and vivid" - The Stage

Link: http://www.theatre-wales.co.uk/news/newsdetail.asp?newsID=1339

Commissioned to write and perform poetry on two different collections: one on wildlife and one on pottery.

Commissioned to write a play about Borderline Personality Disorder. Winner of North Lancashire Playwriting Competition.

The Happy Play is an experimental performance piece, based on ideas of happiness, developed for audiences in health related settings such as day care centres and hospitals, and studio theatres.

This work enabled us to plan for other work based on joyfulness.

A Mother's Perspective, based on a true story, is a powerful 40 minute monologue about Beryl, a grandmother, who has travelled half way across the world to tell her son that she is HIV+, to tell him that she has been infected by his father, and that his father is in hospital dying of AIDS. The monologue is highly thought provoking; combined with workshop and discussion, it challenges head on the values and preconceived ideas of the audience. The monologue has been presented over 30 times to schools, youth groups, World AIDS Day events, community and health groups across Greater Manchester and Lancashire.

Greenhouse Northwest made a video for Lancashire Museum Services called Laughing in Lancashire.

This two year project gave a "voice" to people throughout Greater Manchester and provided a place for people to be listened to and witnessed. People wrote about their lives then came to the green room theatre, Manchester, to read / perform their stories and poems. We spent time with the following groups of people:

  • a) People affected by HIV in Manchester: workshops at Body Positive North West and George House Trust.
  • b) People living in Salford focussing on mental health: workshops at the Angel Healthy Living Initiative and at the Health Project at Mocha Parade, Broughton.
  • c) B.You - a group for young lesbian, gay and bisexual people in Wigan.
  • d) Full Circle - a group for people over 50 hosted at the Coliseum Theatre, Oldham.
  • e) BASE - a group offering help and advice for young people in Bolton.
  • f) Queen Elizabeth School, Middleton, Rochdale, year 10 English Literature set.
  • g) Wellacre School, Trafford, year 11 drama set.
  • h) Touchstones Museum, Rochdale.
  • i) MAPS project, Stockport.
  • j) Portland Basin Museum, Ashton, Tameside.
  • k) Creative Living Centre, Prestwich, Bury.

Greenhouse Northwest ran two weekends of public workshops at greenroom, Manchester, to develop ideas for a play which explored people's fears. The play, Club Nemesis, was performed in December at the green room by a mixture of professional and community actors. Evaluation sheets were filled in by the audience which showed strong reactions from everyone: two thirds of the audience were very enthusiastic about the experience, while once third didn't like it at all.