4 Oct – 17 Oct 2021

Mixed Up, the Film, will be at Baboró International Arts Festival for Children and in Scottish schools through Theatre in Schools Scotland in October.

Mixed Up

by Katy Wilson
Co-Commissioned by Imaginate and Starcatchers.

Mixed Up is a vibrant, interactive playground experience for 3 – 8-year-olds exploring a mix of emotions and feelings through painting, music, and dance.

At the core of Mixed Up is a short film to enjoy together as a class. The film is an energetic, colourful, and creative expression of hip-hop dance and street art, filmed outside in Edinburgh. Then it’s time to get creative! Head for your playground for a teacher-facilitated large-scale drawing, supported by a range of materials, as part of the Mixed Up experience. The package also includes short videos and an in-classroom creative task to help children explore their feelings.

We’ve all been through a turbulent time. Emotions are mixed up and it’s hard to express how we feel. Mixed Up gives young children an opportunity to explore and express big feelings in a visceral, physical way.

"Mixed Up, in its final form, is a gorgeous hip-hop inspired short dance film with animated graphics, designed to reflect the shifting emotions of young people during lockdown, and featuring beautiful performances from Gabriele Bruzzese, Ursula Cheng, Ursula Manandhar and beat-boxer Bigg Taj."

★ ★ ★ ★ Joyce McMillan The Scotsman

Listen to Creative Skills bonus mini episode about exploring some of the ideas from “Mixed Up” at home with your wee ones!

"The delegate-only video shows what an insinuating effect the film has: more eloquent than any round of applause is the riot of chalk lines that explodes across the school playground in a matter of minutes."

★ ★ ★ ★ Mark Fisher The Guardian
  1. Mixed Up was first shown in schools at Edinburgh International Children’s Festival 2021.

    Mixed Up will be at 25th Baboró International Arts Festival in October and in Scottish schools through Theatre in Schools Scotland at the end of 2021.

“Mixed Up is the mixture of two ideas I was beginning to develop with Starcatchers.

One was called Mix Up – and was an idea with spinning paint and hip hop dancers and a DJ.

And the other was about grief and darker emotions that young children experience. This arose after the death of my dad who was the best friend of my 3 year old son, Rudy. Rudy was at an age where he was open to talk and would ask questions at nursery and swerve any topic to be about death – ‘how do you draw dead?’ he said to his teacher. But adults and my older child were less comfortable. I found there were few quality resources a three-year-old with no particular religion could relate to.

When lockdown started, we all started to grieve our old comforts and be separated from someone or something. I realised that Mix Up could be ‘mixed up’ and take a look at our emotions using dance and paint rather than words. It doesn’t have to be dark, just honest. I want to make something that children can apply their own meaning to.

Having to make the decision to film something instead of performing a live, outdoors playground performance due to Covid has been really tricky, and this interactive film is just the start of something. I hope to keep exploring live experiences that help children to express themselves and understand their emotions.”

Katy Wilson

Creative Team

Lead artist / concept and design – Katy Wilson
Choreographer – Ashley Jack
Director (film) – Abby Warrilow
Director of Photography/Editor – Lewis Gourlay
Documentary film maker – Jassy Earl
Documentary film sound assistant – Alfie Vale
Dramaturg – Xana Marwick
Dancers –  Gabriele Bruzzese & Ursula Manandhar
Beatboxing – Bigg Taj
Animation –   Ursula Cheng
Sound design and composition – Marcus Britton, Matt Elliott, Nik Paget Tomlinson and Barney Strachan
Live sound recording – Nik Paget Tomlinson
Production Management – Zoë Squair
Stage Manager – Mickey Graham
Imaginate Launchpad Artist – Cynthia WS Cheung

Rehearsed and filmed at House of Jack and Ocean Terminal. Follow House of Jack on Instagram.

With thanks to Matt Addicott, Mark Bleakley, Brian Hartley, Geraldine Heaney, Joy Maria Onotu, Dougal Marwick and Skye Reynolds who took part in the early development of Mix Up.