Playing With Fire Residential 


In April 2023, we took participants away on a three-day residential to launch our creative strategy, ‘Playing With Fire.’ The whole experience was a deliciously fiery extravaganza, with the group spending time indoors and outside, getting back to fire-building basics, telling stories, and reflecting on what it means to ‘play with fire.’



During the 3 days we worked with artists Kate McCoy (small performance adventures) and Annie Murray (Edit Sweet) who introduced us to a wide range of games, writing exercises and storytelling activities encouraging us to think about the meaning and importance of fire in our own lives and how we could put these experiences into short spoken word pieces.


“It was good to have a break from the trauma for a few days… and really nice to get all my meals provided, especially the cheesy pasta. It felt like I was being looked after”.



We spent time hanging out in the local woods working with an outdoor bushcraft specialist, learning about fire building (and how to clear away forest fire debris afterwards) as well as baking our own bread and testing out our skills at archery.


Many participants commented on how good it was to get out of the city and spend time in nature, with fire, with people and sharing food, time and stories. Thank you to everyone who took part, it was a very special few days and was an incredible way to kick off our playing with Fire Strategy.

“It’s something I will never forget, and I feel immensely privileged to have taken part in such a creative endeavour. You don’t normally get an opportunity like that.”


A poignant short film, ‘Playing With Fire,’ was made by small performance adventures and Edit Sweet. It gives a flavour of the residential and captures some of our musings.


Playing With Fire Residential 2023 (


Picture Credits: Len Grant


This project was generously funded by Arts Council England and The Oglesby Charitable Trust.