Commissioned by Northern Stage as part of Can We Come In?

The Stories  

Over the past year we’ve developed the propensity of 'doom scrolling'. The unconscious habit of being glued to our phones, trawling the internet for the latest on the crumbling of governments, pandemic statistics and general societal downfall.

You know, when you’re waiting for the kettle to boil in between the thing that just happened and the thing that’s going to happen, the kettle boils and you realise you’ve scrolled all the way back to yesterday on Twitter… how did that happen? Or you’re at the bus stop waiting and tapping Instagram stories until you miss the bus and end up walking home. 

Scroll is designed as the antidote to that, a series of digital story interventions commissioned by Northern Stage, replacing the moments of mindless scrolling with tiny stories about us…

The Stories

Week 1:

Welcome To Your New Day
By Daniel Bye
Music by Ziad Jabero

7.15am to be experienced when you wake up in the morning.

Do you sometimes find yourself overwhelmed by the accumulation of life’s minor challenges? Does contemplating even a medium-sized task feel a little bit like drowning? Well, thank goodness you’ve downloaded this free sample of Welcome to Your New Day.  Sit quietly in a chair before your day begins. Close your eyes. Listen. This essential life aid will slowly calm the stormy seas, and land you safely back on the beach. WARNING: Welcome to Your New Day cannot be held responsible if, subsequent to downloading it, you actually do drown. Literally or metaphorically.

Content advice: contains content relating to mental health issues.

Age recommendation: 12+

Love Letter To Us
Written and directed by Tabby Lamb
Music by Nicol Parkinson
Videographer & Editor - Leena Norms

1.58pm - to be experienced as you lean back after your home lunch, before taking your plate to the sink and firing up your next zoom

In a time when physical queer communities are impossible to access, Tabby Lamb celebrates the Trans Body in a lyrical love letter to the community. Featuring over 200 beautiful & diverse Trans bodies and an original composition from Nicol Parkinson. Join us for a 2 minute embrace by one of the most exciting queer artists in the country.

Content advice: contains nudity and after surgery images.

Age recommendation: 14+

Audio Described version:

Silent Disco In The Sky
Written & Created by Daniel York Loh
Performed by Ericka Posadas
Produced by Moongate
Special thanks Gwendolyn Sim, Jennifer Lim, Rajesh Thind, Ghost & John

To be experienced while waiting for the bus.

Black and minority ethnic people are twice as likely to die from Covid-19 as white people.

So when you’re on the front line in the path of a ruthless pandemic with no papers, no status and no adequate protection against either the virus or the toxic racism that permeates in the air…

And your best friend dies, you can only dance alone and you can only dance silently.

More Filipino healthcare workers have died of Covid-19 in the UK than in the Philippines. The Philippines has a population of 109 million, with a Filipino population in the UK of 200,000 making up 0.3% of the total population.

Silent Disco in the Sky is inspired by research interviews conducted by Daniel York Loh and Rajesh Thind.

Content advice: contains some strong language and references to racist terms.

Age recommendation: 14+

Audio Described version:

Week 2

5 Minute Wake Up
Written & created by Leo Skilbeck

Content advice: A fast moving series of videos focussing on a road trip at night with many different traffic and road lighting formations, and a gently pulsing soundtrack.

To be viewed as soon as you wake, or when you need a five minute reset. 5 Minute Wake Up is a short film designed to do just that - to wake you and ease you into the day.
In this meditative film, you’ll journey from Manchester at dawn and out into the Peak District. Incremental and hypnotic, an early morning dream, this film draws on process videos, long journeys, and the gradual glow of sun up.
Created by Leo Skilbeck (previous shorts include: BIG BEN (Young Vic), Love Song For The Wild (Homotopia), Not That Kind of Film (Derby Theatre), Leo invites you to spend the first 5 minutes of your day on yourself through this film.

Music composed and produced by David Lewington
Production manager Adam Robertson

Audio Described version:

(Don't) spill the tea 
Written by Chris Sonnex
Performed by: Saida Ahmed, Tanya Loretta Dee, Zainab Hasan, and Aoife Lennon

1.54pm - to be experienced while boiling the kettle.

Whether its builders, chai, herbal or terribly made by a fancy barista, drinking tea brews into our minds as a moment to relax, a moment to forget about or even reflect on the world, a communal joy.

In this audio play, we eavesdrop on four cousins zooming and spilling the tea, (metaphorically of course, no one wants to waste any.) Listen in to what joins all of them and the ritual of drinking tea together, their nan. Take 5 minutes out of your day, get a brew on and take a moment to stop and share in a moment of connection. 

Content advice: Contains some strong language.

The video includes audio description and captions.

Page A Day
Devised by Adam Lenson, Dora Rubinstein, and Curtis Volp
Performed by Dora Rubinstein
Music Composed and Performed by Curtis Volp
Directed by Adam Lenson

8:45pm - To be experienced while running a bath

When a young woman's life is unexpectedly disrupted she is forced to begin a process of repair. Despite a secular Jewish upbringing in Newcastle she somehow finds herself reading the Talmud, a densely written ancient text that's nearly 3,000 pages long. 'Page A Day' is a short audio play about ritual, history, daily mindfulness, and finding ways of being together even when we are forced apart.

The video includes audio description and captions.

Week 3

Hear This S***
Uproot Productions

8.30am - to be experienced during your first visit to the loo

It’s 8:30am in South London and it’s time for Amber’s routine morning trip to the facilities. This is usually the perfect moment for a quick scroll through Twitter, a like and a comment on her best friend’s latest Insta pic, and a couple of generic replies to various Whatsapp groups. 
Today, Amber’s got some things on her mind that she wants to talk about. Join her, during your morning loo visit, and watch this tongue in cheek Instagram Live monologue about whether we will just watch any old s***. 
Content advice - contains strong language

To watch this story, head over to our Instagram Highlight Scroll here.

Nightime Visions
Created by Sampira 

10.47pm - watch this before you switch the light off

What do you think about late at night? When the city is asleep, but you're wide awake, where does your mind go? Night-Time Visions is an audio piece that explores the things that you say to yourself when you're at your most comfortable. The things you fear, the things you're proud, the things you dream of, when you're still awake. Those rare times, when you're the realest with yourself, because your brain needs that chat with you. 

Content advice: contains references to racism, freedom fighting, fire, a large beetle, use of the word 'Mad' in different contexts, reference to 4:48 and inferences of suicide.

Audio described version:

Wash Face Keep Face
Created by Bridget Minamore

12.32am - watch this as you get ready for bed.

When 2020 began, you only had one resolution—start a skincare routine and stick to it. Rain or shine, make-up or nothing, you were going to properly wash your face. Every. Single Night. As the pandemic hit, you knew you probably should try and have loftier goals to fill your extra time; daily yoga stretches or a 10 minute Duolingo blast would definitely lead to more concrete outcomes in a year, but you couldn’t handle that. All you could cope with was the thing you already had started doing, stripping your face bare and staring at your bathroom mirror as you cleaned it. As the weeks turned into months, and the spread COVID-19 showed no signs of slowing, all you knew – all you know – is that this 4 minute ritual each night has become the only time you aren’t on your phone, panic scrolling and worrying about the days to come. 

Content advice: contains material relating to mental health conditions - body relationships and pandemic induced.

This video includes an audio described introduction and closing.

Scroll introduction music credit: Beldina Odenyo Onassis - Heir of the Cursed