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Change of Heart

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Handy Tips

DNA Cabaret
The Cabinet of Hearts
The Cabinet of Hearts

change of heart

Written and performed by Rachel Anne Riggs
Directed by Adam Bennett with specialist direction from Joanne Foley
Sound Track by Verbal Vigilante Music

A small scale studio performance based on research
into the testimonies of heart transplantees & creatively developed
with object play, puppetry and animation.

Immediate Audience Feedback - "a very moving performance"
"Challenging imagery - superbly presented""Intriguing"
"Strong subjects placed with hard hitting images"

“A generous hearted performance that portrays a red-blooded
world in miniature with intrigue and humour, poignantly
punctuated with animated characters.”

“Your show was really cleverly presented and the subject matter
was completely fascinating. You're a charismatic performer. I really enjoyed it.”

A one woman studio show performed with shadows, object manipulation, and animation to tell the true stories of heart transplant patients. An ordinary suitcase transforms with many extraordinary stories inside. From research into the collected statements of heart transplantees who confess the most amazing details in their change of habits, gender and attitudes, even to the extent of the donor's killer being caught!

Rachel Riggs uses objects as symbolic metaphors to tell these tales in a 50 min live performance red teaser of a piece. With a specially composed soundtrack & animations, time stops as we connect with our heartbeat. The heart is explored as an object of extreme emotional resonance which carries memories into the new body. There are many personal testimonies of direct experience from transplantees about the influence of the donor of the heart, sometimes with personality changes, often food cravings and recalling unrelated memories.

A child can't play with that toy anymore, but doesn't know why. Fast food speaks of changing from carnivore to vegetarian. A white man with a black man's heart confronts his racism...

Low key animation tells the story of an 8 year old girl who received the heart of a 10 year old who had been murdered: the girl had such powerful nightmares, that she was able to tell the Police exactly what had happened and who had committed the crime, eventually convicting the murderer.

Using my professional art form of puppetry and working with various techniques including object, table top, stop frame & digital animation, toy theatre and shadow projections. I create an intimate performance for an adult audience, asking audience members to participate and pick a card which tells of a heart transplant experience.

This is a miniature performance to explore the emotional impact of our feelings, as we imagine losing our heart - and ask ourselves, how can another's very life being become part of our own?

'In addition to the historical research that informs her work, Rachel impresses by the breath of her artistic interpretation, which includes site-specific installations and animating the past through shadow-plays and film. Her work was very well received by an appreciative audience' Amanda Draper - Keeper of Fine Art, Harris Museum & Art Gallery

Performed at theatres, festivals and art galleries including the Nuffield Theatre, Royal Exchange, the Green Room - Uk, the Blue Room - Perth and Melbourne Puppetry Summit, Australia, the World Puppet Carnival 2012, Almaty Kazakhstan and Fringe World 2013, Australia

Artsflight funding for travel to Kazakhstan supported by


Art of the Heart, object play from Chantal Oakes 2005-2011 on Vimeo.

Booking Details

Ages Suitable for adults and young people over 14
Running time 50 minutes
Suitable venues arts centres,festivals, art galleries
Technical information spotlight and sound p.a.
Availability currently available

"good ideas on display" "bizarre contemporary theatre" The West Australian

All text and images © Dynamic New Animation 2005