I am gathering real-life stories of both kindness and cruelty. I’m doing this through in-person interviews, workshops, social media, and online submissions.
An interactive, one-person show exploring kindness, cruelty, how each affects people, and our ability to choose.
During the research phase I’m trying to get an honest picture of what people think and feel about kindness. For instance, does sharing a good deed on social media makes it less good? Are people kinder to those who are good looking? There is an online survey for this.
As well as opinions, I am gathering real-life stories of both kindness and cruelty. I’m doing this through in-person interviews, workshops, social media, and online submissions. The gathered stories will be used for inspiration in writing the most powerful and entertaining narrative I can think of.
Alongside all of that, I’m finding out what the experts in kindness say. The biologists, sociologists, psychologists. Science types. How hugging someone can make them more generous by flooding them with oxytocin, how changing the language you use can change your experience of something, that kind of thing.
I’ve wanted to make Joygernaut for a long time. I think it’s important to challenge the all-too-common view that humans are ‘red in tooth and claw’. I believe that we that we are kinder than that, but I don’t want to preach only to the converted.
Yes, Joygernaut is for those who already believe in kindness and get a warm glow from Bing Bong in Inside Out. And it’s for those who are looking for practical tips in taking control of their mood. But it’s also for those who feel that trampling someone on Black Friday to get a cheaper flat screen TV is just part of how things are, or that Alistair Brownlee was a moron for giving up his chance to win a race when he stopped to help his brother Johnny over the line. It’s for everyone.
I would like to thank Arts Council England for their support in this project.
I am also very grateful for the support and belief of North Yorkshire County Council, their Stronger Communities programme, and especially for the hard work of everyone involved in their Library Service. It is fitting that Joygernaut has been kindled with the help of an institution built on trust, community spirit, and kindness.