BE-LONGING was a 3-month visual theatre project with Y5 & 6 children at Keys Meadow School, inspired by the book ‘La Mariposa’ by Francisco Jimenez. The project culminated in a site-specific performance in the school grounds and building.

Over three months Scarabeus worked with the children to explore team-building and trust, movement and staging, physical theatre and aerial skills; as well as visual art, costume and set design.

This performance tells the story of a young migrant who lives in a refugee camp and speaks little English; feeling different and facing isolation at school, our protagonist takes comfort in observing a caterpillar housed in a jar near his desk that slowly transforms into a butterfly.

The school grounds were transformed with large-scale sets: a refugee camp made of tarpaulin will grow as the work takes place, a physical border to be crossed, and an assembly-line factory like those where some of the parents work. In the finale, from suspended aerial cocoons, a number of butterflies hatch and take flight as a powerful metaphor for resilience, hope & aspiration.

 Supported by Arts Council England