COME PAIN OR SHINE
Come Pain or Shine was a live performance and research project featuring acrobatic daredevils from a local circus, as well as a seven metre tall giant called Arthur. Commissioned by Arthritis Research UK for the Manchester Day celebrations of 2016, Sophie was asked to create a pain mannequin capable of being animated by performers from The Circus House. The performance was part of a wider project, Cloudy With a Chance of Pain, created by hospital doctor and University of Manchester scientist Will Dixon. Cloudy with a Chance of Pain seeks to better our understanding of the relationship between the weather and the uncomfortable symptoms of chronic conditions like arthritis.
Outside the Town Hall a quirky weatherman sits atop a luminous weather station and entertains the crowds through a megaphone. Occasionally he looks up at the sky and asks it not to rain. Behind the weatherman, towering above everything, kneels Arthur. Caged in a steel frame and bearing bold and disjointed features he adopts a classical muscular pose, he is restricted and fragile. When youth and community performers twirl and swing beneath him to weather related hits like It’s Raining Men and Cold as Ice, it looks like a scene from Gulliver’s Travels.
Manchester City Council described Come Pain or Shine as an innovative new performance piece. Feedback from Arthritis Research UK was also overwhelmingly positive.