Ella Mesma Company

The Getting Better Box

The Getting Better Box & Utopia virtual world performance

The online performance experience, Utopia was a Rural Arts’ Keepsake commission and was inspired as the third iteration of Ella Mesma’s Getting Better Box series developed to offer some relief during lockdown.

When Ella was ill as a child, her Mum would to bring out ‘The Getting Better Box’… essentially it was a cardboard box with some toys inside… it didn’t make her better, but as a child, it was a magical thing to open that box only when ill and behold the goodies inside… sometimes Ella even tried to fake sickness just for the box…

Now Ella has created a version of the Getting Better Box for those who have felt isolated and lonely throughout the last year, The Getting Better Box interweaves themes of wellbeing, play and unlearning online and with a physical box which participants receive in the post.

In lockdown 1, The Getting Better Box was inspired around ways to offer relief and unlearning in these different times. This was by no means an answer to all our problems, we hoped that providing a collection of anti racist and unlearning invitations, wellbeing tips, classes by amazing artists, events to attend, meditations to listen to and somatic practices, funding opportunities, etc, all in one place, we may have been able to offer some support... and it gave us something to do in these different times!
In lockdown 2, The Getting Better Box took the form of an online space and messages exploring how we can be better humans, looking at what we might unlearn to contribute better to society.

Below are some of the resources which we are still maintaining from those times to (in the words of Hot Brown Honey) Activate, Pollinate, Hydrate, pollinate:

The Getting Better Box 3

Each box will contain clues to the performance experience; A creative invitation made by Makers at the Mill (plus a drink on us!) A quiz (to which you will find the answers within the show) An invitation to the interactive show: an experience which will combine watching, talking and participating as much or as little as you would like in an online adventure, A programme about the show you are invited to see (with links to find out more and get creative with how you might show up and participate). Within the show you will find clues to click on, invitations and questions to consider, moments to play and interact, and moments to relax and unwind in a beautiful location Are you ready for this Jelly? Join us on this journey beyond your imagination for an experience that combines live performance with alternate reality. A Jellyfish Love Song is an underwater love story, celebrating the beauty of nature and the beautiful, calming way of the jellyfish. On this underwater experience, you will be invited to join us for a fantasy adventure under the sea. To join, choose your jellyfish and come for an online adventure with live actors, hidden answers, opportunities to connect and move and an online show. You will be met by your hosts in a utopian world for a fully remote experience that you can access from the comfort of your own home. Combining live performance with alternate reality it is stimulating, entertaining and accessible.