Treasure and Tat - A new dance theatre work

by Joel O'Donoghue in London, England, United Kingdom

We did it
On 7th February 2019 we successfully raised £1,895 with 44 supporters in 28 days

Treasure and Tat is a dance work that explores memory and sentimentality, working with older generations from local communities.

by Joel O'Donoghue in London, England, United Kingdom

New stretch target

The extra funding will help us to distribute Treasure and Tat to festivals, venues and international promoters. It will also allow us to start developing our outreach and educational projects based on ageing, dementia and memory loss. 

A brief introduction...

Joel O'Donoghue began creating Treasure and Tat in 2017. With your support, he is now seeking to finish and film this piece of dance theatre, aimed at connecting older and younger generations. 

10% of your donation will go towards supporting London Bubble Theatre’s Creative Elders Programme (a community outreach project that provides activities and creative opportunities for elderly people in the Southwark borough). 

The story behind Treasure and Tat...

Treasure and Tat is a dance theatre work investigating how personal possessions can tell a story. Since 2017 Joel has been leading workshops at a variety of old peoples homes and sheltered accommodations. As part of the workshops he has asked each participant to bring in an object they feel sentimental towards, and explain the stories behind them. These different stories (Sarah’s specially made chair, Keith’s single set of cutlery, Angie’s toy monkey, John’s conker, and Pat’s broken typewriter) have provided Treasure and Tat with a framework and narrative.

As the work has developed, Joel has begun to investigate issues regarding loneliness, loss of memory, and loss of identity. In 2003 Joel had a brain tumour removed from his left temporal lobe, which subsequently effected his aural and visual memory. As the work has progressed, it has seemingly become more personal. The work has become a venture inside the brain, and a journey through different peoples own forgotten past.  

Who is Treasure and Tat for?

Some of the key aims of Treasure and Tat is to connect older and younger generations, and provide entertainment for those that may have little to no access to contemporary dance. Joel would like to perform the work around the UK at a range of community settings such as town halls, churches, libraries, and ballrooms. In addition to the performance of Treasure and Tat the company will host tea and cake receptions, as a means of connecting people from local communities. 

This work has already contributed to audiences and individuals from communities such as South London Cares, Time and Talents and London Bubble Theatre. Your donation today will help continue to share this work to new audiences across the UK and internationally. Joel also hopes to develop community based workshops and participation projects with care homes, and dementia charities. 

What is the Creative Elders Program?

10% of our crowdfunder profits will go towards the Creative Elders Program at London Bubble Theatre, a project Joel has been volunteering for for the past year.

The Creative Elders Programme is designed to offer older adults in the borough of Southwark opportunities to connect and create.

Through the sharing of stories, making theatre, exploring dance, music and movement the programme brings people together.  By increasing social connections, building communities, supporting maintained independence, good health and wellbeing London Bubble hopes to address the acute social isolation and lack of physical and emotional stimulation which effects the lives of so many.

How will your support help?

Joel is looking to raise money to fund one week of rehearsals with the dancers and sound designer at BalletBoyz studio (see image below). The aims of these rehearsals is to extend and put the finishing touches to Treasure and Tat, and make a film of the final outcome. This final stage of rehearsals are vital for the works future, and will make the work ready for touring. With your generosity the company hopes to raise £1500 (or more). Any donation, big or small will help us. The final creation phase of the project begins in early 2019. 

Your investment now, will..

Allow Joel O'Donoghue more time and space to work with the dancers and creatives. 

Enable us to film the work, investing in the long term promotion, touring and shelf life of the show.

Contribute towards the costs of the composer and new musical score. 

Support artists’ fees for the rehearsal and development of the work. 

The creative team includes... 

Choreographer: Joel O’Donoghue 

Sound Designer: Ben Grant 

Performers: Lewis Wilkins, Faith Prendergast, and Karl Fagerlund Brekke.

Feedback from previous audiences...

I am incredibly aware of the importance of memory especially having recently witnessed the withering of my fathers memory. Events from his distant past recur and the repetition of these events become part of his everyday repertoire… So i find it very interesting to see this performance today, the look of bewilderment and longing. The repetition of phrases and anecdotes in your piece capture this. I'm not sure if this is what you intended but it certainly struck a chord with me. 

(Angie, audience member) 

Sometimes people simplify work for older/younger generations. (I) love how this work hasn’t been simplified in the slightest and still opens up questions and can be ambiguous at parts. Bringing contemporary dance to different audiences while maintaining the integrity. 

(unnamed audience member) 

A personal message from Joel...

I can’t thank you enough for supporting this work. Treasure and Tat is a project that is incredibly dear to me, and is something I have been building towards for quite some time. The team of incredible artists I have assembled over the last two years have become like a family to me, and I am over the moon to be working with all of them again. This project has enabled me to connect with some older individuals, who I don’t think I would’ve met otherwise. They have all been extremely kind to me, and supportive of the work. I hope that this project continues to connect individuals of different ages and backgrounds. I hope to be meeting many more people and listening to more stories in 2019. If you have any peculiar tales or anecdotes that you’d like to share, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.


This project offers rewards in return for your donation.

£10 or more

£10 - Thank you credit on our trailer.

Pledge £10 and we will feature your chosen name as a credit on the film trailer.

£20 or more

£20 - Invitation to private sharing

Pledge £20 and receive an invitation to the filming and sharing of this work. An opportunity to see the final work in a studio setting before anyone else. Your chosen name will also feature as a credit on the film trailer.

£30 or more

£30 - Receive a Postcard Print

Pledge £30 and receive a special printed postcard, taken from sketches and drawings of the original research period for Treasure and Tat. Sketches are designed and signed by choreographer Joel O'Donoghue. Your chosen name will also feature on our trailer as well as an invitation to our sharing and filming day.

£50 or more

£50 Receive a Poster Print

Pledge £50 and receive a special printed A4 poster taken from sketches and drawings of the original research period for Treasure and Tat. Sketches are designed by choreographer Joel O'Donoghue. Your chosen name will also be featured on the trailer as well as an invitation to our sharing and filming day.

£150 or more

£150 Reward - A movement workshop

Pledge £150 or more and receive a bespoke movement workshop with choreographer Joel O'Donoghue. Joel O'Donoghue will deliver a 1.5 hour movement led workshop, suitable for a local group or organisation. Your chosen name will also feature on our trailer as well as an invitation to our sharing and filming day.

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