Mortal Fools - When The World Is Loud #WTWIL

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Mortal Fools - When The World is Loud  #WTWIL

When The World Is Loud is a new & innovative piece of audio theatre which has been designed to help us reflect on the past few months, escape the world for a while and look forward to what lies ahead in the future. 

It is free to stream / download and recommended for older children, teens and adults. Donations are welcome and can be made via the Mortal Fools website (Mortal Fools is a charity). 

Mortal Fools are a multi-award winning theatre, drama and creative learning charity based in Northumberland and working across the whole of the North East. They have many strings to their bow (which you can read more about in this post) but on this occasion have collaborated with 30 young people and 10 artists in the North to create something a little different in these unusual times. 

When The World Is Loud - Need to Know 

  • When The World Is Loud is something you need to set time out of your day to experience. You need to actively listen rather than it be a passive experience. Set aside about 70 minutes. It is best experienced through headphones as you will be moving about. 
  • You can enjoy the experience alone or as a group. I listened along with Harry (aged 13) and it was pretty easy for us to pause when we needed to together.
  • There are a few ways to listen - stream via the Mortal Fools website, Spotify, Apple Podcasts or Podbean. Simply search for When The World Is Loud on your chosen platform or click here for the direct links
  • The experience is free to access with donations welcome
  • There are a few safety messages and notes to read before you get started - check out the how to guides on the Mortal Fools website before you begin 
  • There are three ways to enjoy the experience - at home, in your local neighbourhood or a little further afield. We decided to use our local neighbourhood and we streamed via Spotify Premium. 

When The World Is Loud Track One (Welcome)

It was nice to have a dedicated amount of time to spend with the lesser spotted teen and to share the experience with him. We sat down late morning, set up our apps and listen alone (yet at the same time). The first track is short and just gives you a little bit of info about what to expect.  

When The World Is Loud Track Two (Are You Ready?)

I loved the beginning of this track which basically puts you into the minds of lots of other people and makes you realise that whoever you are, our brains are always busy. Sometimes we may feel like the busiest person on the planet and like there are not enough hours in the day. This track helps you see things from another perspective.

The track then goes on to share how important it is to relax and it shares places which a broad range of people find relaxing. I love the little shout out to Bamburgh and Seahouses. 

This section really made me smile, especially hearing all of the different accents and I found myself nodding along and thinking yes, I love it there too. Harry likened the experience to a different kind of meditation or mindfulness exercise. Towards the end of the track, we were asked to move to an area that we found to be peaceful and for me, it had to be our garden. 

When The World Is Loud Track Three (Time To Escape) 

Track Three takes a bit of a turn as you listen to a character who is talking to someone inside their head. We don't know who or what it is (I won't spoil it for you). I thought it was imagination and Harry thought it was taking drugs - interesting how we can both be listening to the exact same thing and come up with different interpretations. 

We are encouraged to escape a little during this track and the sun poked out from behind the clouds just at the right time. At peak lockdown, I was so thankful for our garden. I felt trapped by my home at times as well as scared to go out. You may remember that my escape was sitting in my garden and listening to a podcast. I looked up at the clouds, admired the flowers and I am just so thankful I could escape this way during the toughest of times. 

Listening to this track reminded me of these simple pleasures, I looked up at the clouds again, felt the warmth of the sun on my face and appreciated the plants growing in my garden. I need to do this more often so thank you Mortal Fools for a much-needed reminder. 

When The World Is Loud Track Four (Community Is.....)

For the fourth track, we are encouraged to move to somewhere where there are generally people. In the house this could be your kitchen table or living room but for us in our local neighbourhood we decided to venture to the grassed area at the end of our street. 

This track really helps you to reflect on the community you live in and how it has strengthened during the last few months. As I listened to the stories of community, I watched my neighbours pass with their dogs and gave them a little wave, remembered how we all shared plant cuttings & seeds when the garden centres were closed and reminisced about all of the good times we have had out on this grass - football tournaments, conker hunting, walking to school, kids doing their fitness tests. Lots of happy memories. 

When The World Is Loud Track Five (Journey To The Future)

I have to be honest when I say that this was my least favourite section of the experience. We moved to a wide open space and started to think about the future, what we would like to change and how now is the time to change things for the better. It was a good opportunity to think about this but Harry and I both found the track to be a little childish for adults and teens. This section would be better suited to those aged 8-11 I think and Harry hit the nail on the head when he said Heidi would have enjoyed this part. I wasn't sure if Heidi (11) and Jack (9) would be too young for this which is why I tried it with only Harry but after listening, I can confidently say it would be fine for them. 

Theatre is very subjective though (even the audio variety) so do still give this section a listen and let me know what you think. 

When The World Is Loud Track Six (Into The Unknown)

This last section is a time for reflection. We looked around our neighbourhood and were mindful of our surroundings - the sights, smells and sounds. I spotted these blackberries in our street which are just about ready to be picked - something I would have normally just walked straight past. Harry enjoyed watching a spider spin her web nearby , again, something we would never usually spot. 

When The World Is Loud - Final Thoughts 

I have really missed going to the theatre. For me, nothing provides my brain with food for thought or a new way of thinking about something like theatre does. During lockdown, I have watched a few theatrical performances on TV but it is just not the same. There is still the sound of the washing machine in the background, the distraction of my phone and the chance someone may knock on the door. 

I can hand on heart say that When The World Is Loud is the next best thing to live theatre. I think the fact that you have to physically dedicate time to it, are wearing headphones so it feels like it is right inside of your head and that there are no other distractions really helps. I love that like regular theatre, it is such a personal experience too and it really did make me think in a way that only theatre does. As mentioned above, both Harry and I listened together but our experiences were completely different. 

I would recommend to anyone who needs some time out to reflect on the past few months in an uplifting way. The experience focuses on the good things that have happened such as the sense of community and the little positives we can focus on as well as hope for the future rather than being all doom and gloom like we have experienced day in, day out on the news and social media. 

The audio theatre is recommended for older kids, teens and grown ups. I thought it may be a little too grown up for H & J but it would have been fine. I am going to listen to it again with them both before they head back to school. I think like many parents / families, these next few weeks are a huge point of change for us all and WTWIL provides an opportunity for us all to reflect on this. 

There are a couple of parts where your teen may roll their eyes (if they are anything like my Harry) but on the whole, it is a lovely exercise to enjoy together and something a little different to focus on at the end of summer.

Although suitable for teens or grown ups, personally, I would say it is perfect for ages 9-12 and their parents/carers to enjoy together and a brilliant way to open conversations about what has happened and their thoughts / hopes for the future. I think the best way to experience it is to head into your street/neighbourhood, especially in the community section but also, if you have to self-isolate at any point, I bet listening along at home is the perfect mood boost too. 

I ended up feeling a little teary in parts, it really does make you think and feel thankful for what we have. If you are heading out and about, I would recommend packing some tissues if you are a bit of a softie like me.

Bravo to Mortal Fools and all of the young people and creatives involved in this. I love how the North East seems to be leading the way and adapting during this time and When The World Is Loud is a piece of home-grown theatre we can all be proud of. 

Find out more, listen along or download here:

Use #WTWIL to support Mortal Fools and share your experience on Social Media. 

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