Coronavirus Time Capsule

With schools across the world on lockdown due to the Covid-19 pandemic, 25 young people from Mess Up The Mess Theatre Company worked alongside youth theatres across the globe to battle the impact of isolation and anxiety on teenagers’ mental health – providing a space to express what the lockdown was like for them.

The Coronavirus Time Capsule was a week-by-week project created by London-based youth theatre Company Three and made available to groups of young people across the world. Groups created new videos every week responding to different topics linked to the 1st 17 weeks of lockdown here in the UK.

Groups involved include youth theatres in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland and in Ireland, Kenya, Brazil, Australia, Croatia, the Netherlands and the USA. Mess Up The Mess Theatre Company are published new videos every week, exploring topics like home life, school, exercise and friendship. Each video is a window into the worlds of the participants in the project, showing them at home, with their families and in their rooms.

By the end of the lockdown, Mess Up The Mess created a cumulative time capsule of all 16 films for anyone to watch– and for the participants to look back on and remember this extraordinary time.

Sarah Jones Artistic Director said:

Being involved in the Time Capsule project gave the young people we work with focus and routine as well as providing a creative and expressive outlet for their skills and experiences at a really difficult time. The work developed is surprisingly uplifting and full of imagination showing amazing resilience and positivity

Group Member Katie Jenkins said:

The time capsule is a great idea as it allows people to share our experiences of what it’s like in lockdown. It also allows us to look back on it after to see how things drastically changed. It’s important to me because it allows us to find enjoyment within lockdown and gives us something to focus our attention on.

Another group member Katie Hopkins said

I think that the Time Capsule Project is a really good idea which is allowing young people to show their experiences and to show how they are feeling during these times. I wanted to get involved in this Project because I can show everyone how this time has made me feel and i have been able to see what my friends and other young people have been through recently in order to adapt to these circumstances.

The Coronavirus Time Capsule was created by Company Three, published in association with Nick Hern Books and developed in partnership with the National Association of Youth Theatres, Scottish Youth Theatre, Youth Arts Network Cymru, the Unicorn Theatre and Central School of Speech and Drama.

The Artistic Director of Company Three, Ned Glasier said:

We are so excited that Mess Up The Mess have joined with this huge network of youth theatres, schools and other youth groups to create their own Coronavirus Time Capsule. We know that the shutdown is particularly difficult for teenagers, living with all that the pandemic has brought and missing out on key rites of passage in their education and emotional development. So we wanted to provide something to provide support, connection and a space to be heard – and a chance to connect with teenagers in similar situations all over the world.