Speak your TRUTH, play with words, tease your IMAGINATION Say whatever YOU want to SAY good or bad... Fully embrace the WONDERful person YOU ARE and the INCREDIBLE world you live in.

What is Word/Play?

Word/Play is a social prescribing project for people experiencing mental ill health. It uses performance poetry to empower individuals, giving them the freedom and encouragement to tell their stories.   

Each project course usually consists of 10 weekly sessions for a group of up to 10 people. Working with professional performance poets, participants are given the chance to build their confidence, develop skills and find new ways to communicate in a safe and fun environment.  

No previous writing or spoken word experience is necessary and the sessions are safe and accessible to everyone. The ten-week course ends with an informal performance in front of friends and family.  

In 2020 we ran a project in partnership with The Hub, Yeovil, for adults with learning disabilities and autism, supported by Awards for All.  Since lockdown we successfully transferred the project online where the participants worked together via Zoom, proving to be a creative highlight of their week! 

Funding from the Coronavirus Community Support Fund, distributed by The National Lottery Community Fund, has helped us now to provide continuity and support for the trainees at the Hub by building on the work achieved so far.

Thanks to the Government for making this possible, we are also providing opportunities for a new group of Hub trainees to share creatively their experiences of lockdown. Due to the changes in restrictions, we are currently reviewing the activity programme so that it is safe and compliant with Covid-19 guidelines.

What the Participants Say

“Word/Play has been as inspiration. I don’t think I would be moving out now into my own place, if it wasn’t for this.” 

Paul - Participant

“I have started to pull my extremes together, to be more in the room, because despite my blocks and contradictionseach week I thought ‘I want to be in this room with these people”

Jon Powell - Participant

“As the weeks have gone by my mind has opened, my confidence has grown and I am attending other groups that challenge me to look at myself and others differently... Word/Play put me on the right path to being a whole human again.”

Julie Marter - Participant

Word/Play Plus 

Word/Play Plus offers continued support for participants so they don’t end up stepping of a metaphorical cliff after the project ends. From previous incarnations of the project, we’ve learnt that people value writing and performing as an ongoing technique for managing their mental health.  

As well as two workshops a month with the lead poet, the group also meet socially, providing peer support for each other. Since starting Word/Play Plus, participants have met and performed regularly, taking part in local poetry events, slams and festivals, including Buddhafield and WOMAD.

Rainbow Fish Speak Easy 

In-between the workshops, Take Art has helped participants set up their own open mic night in Yeovil, the  Rainbow Fish Speak Easy, a bi-monthly spoken word and live poetry platform. They, and other writers and performers in the area, can regularly meet and perform in a fun and safe environment. The night is topped off with a big headline act and has become a hugely popular poetry platform in Somerset.  

The Rainbow Fish Speak Easy has been taken online over the last few months but, all being well, we plan to make it ‘live’, safe and socially-distanced as soon as we can, back at our usual venue, The Hub, Yeovil.  

Please visit our What's On to see when the next Rainbow Fish is taking place.

Contact Mark Helyar mark@takeart.org or Sarah Peterkin sarah@takeart.org Co-Directors of Theatre

tel: 01460 249450