MY INSPIRATION: Caroline Horton – Muckers | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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We don’t usually feature articles on kids shows, but Muckers isn’t your average kids show. Coming to Darlington’s Hullabaloo Theatre on Saturday 18th May, Muckers is the brainchild of award-winning theatre maker Caroline Horton; a surreal adventure which features – among other things – burping, some Spanish, original songs, a highly mischievous narrative, beatboxing and quite a lot of poo. It’s a show which has gained serious critical acclaim from those in the know as well as families keen to empower young people and confront the anxieties of growing up.

Here, Caroline tells us about her creative journey and the inspiration behind the show…

The Muckers journey started in 2017, when the egg invited me to be a part of their Incubator development programme. The idea for the story began with me doing lots of thinking about dirt, and our relationship with dirt, and the rules young girls in particular are taught as we’re growing up.

The two main characters in Muckers are called Paloma and Pichón, meaning dove and pigeon in Spanish. Maybe they are friends, or maybe they are two sides of the same person – you can decide that for yourself. I have a little bit of both Paloma and Pichón in me.

It feels really important for different cultures and languages to collaborate with each other

I’ve partly drawn on my own experiences to create the show, but it’s partly a big fantasy/adventure story. But when I was little I sometimes found the world around me quite scary, especially when a new rule was announced. When that happened, I would tend to try to conform and fit in, and I would get very worried if I felt like I’d stepped out of line.

I wanted to make a piece between Spain and the UK because I’ve spent a lot of time in Madrid, and the idea of setting up some sort of exchange between two European countries was very exciting – challenging, but exciting! One performer in Muckers is Spanish and so is the director. One performer is English. There’s a mixture of both languages used in the show and it’s been great fun experimenting to see if something can work in two languages at the same time! But the text was very much led by me so there’s more English spoken in it. Also, because the show is quite physical and visual, my hope is that anybody will be able to follow the story and understand everything, regardless of which language you speak.

It feels really important for different cultures and languages to collaborate with each other. At the moment, we live in a world where there is less and less collaboration, when there should be more and more – can we make connections instead of building walls?

I hope that whoever comes to see Muckers, whatever age they are, finds something in it for them.


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