On my recent trip to Diageo I was able to witness first-hand Acting Up’s Emma Currie capturing the workforce’s hearts and minds through her presentation of Gail’s Shoes, one of Acting Up’s classic monologues. June 2015
As I sat down excited to see how the workforce would react to Acting Up’s innovative inductions, I noticed what I thought may be a general sense of indifference towards what was perhaps thought as a typical Health and Safety days for those unaware of Acting Up’s methods. As Emma walked round the corner in nothing more than a bed sheet and her bright red shoes, the impact on the audience was immediate, and this was clearly no ordinary Health and Safety induction day.
I understood previously to witnessing the monologue thatActing Up was taking the workforce on a journey of Gail’s life, and the twisted turn of events that resulted from an incident at work. The large emotional impact was unbeknown to me in all its glory before my trip to Diageo. Silence began to fill the room, speaking as many words as their mixed expressions throughout the room.
As I listened to Emma and gazed around the room, the audience was clearly as affected as I was. Emma connects with the audience with Gail, and then allows for this connection to be used to create conversations about the health and safety environment of their workforce. What would likely to happen in your workplace? What sort of characters would be involved? All key questions that probe a dialogue between each other. Fictional yet realistic is the theme of these stories, perhaps sometimes stories that have been adapted from real life incidents.
Acting Up’s brilliant mix of humour; disaster and tragedy shocks the audience into creating a safe environment for tailored conversations for each group. Acting Up provides a time for health and safety reflections and conversations, one which moves the audience in a real way to do something about it.
Acting Up’s work is as much about the past as the present and the future. What I mean by that is by looking into the past events we understand that the present, what we do right now, is what dictates our future. It should be understood that no one is immune from health and safety accidents. If we were to witness a colleague, a friend, a family member or anyone we care about undergo a devastating domino effect from one single incident, caused by what is normally one simple thing, we would ask ourselves: why didn’t they just do that one simple action to prevent this from happening?
There’s no point simply telling your workforce that health and safety is important- they need to understand why. To understand this we need to understand what makes people tick. As humans I believe we are ultimately united by being led by our emotions. Connect the workforce with their emotions and they will be far greater in tune to connect with their health and safety initiatives at work.
Emmanuelle Sangster, Editor
Acting Up Ltd.
Photo above captured myself and a Diageo employee racing to blend some delicious nutritional fruit smoothies. Healthy heart, healthy mind