Outside, My Hands are Clapping

This performance was going to be shown at Brighton Arts Festival and Camden People’s Theatre 2020 but both were cancelled due to Covid19.

Below is the original experiment that I brought to Hammersmith Lyric Theatre in June 2019. The whole thing was written in bed and the film was filmed live on site in a few hours on my first and only day out until my performance at the Lyric.

Shown at the H&F Arts Festival, London, Produced by Turtle Key Arts, Joy of Theatre


Colin Hambrook, Editor of Disability Arts Online

Outside, My Hands are Clapping could be described as a piece of scripted poetic storytelling using elements of multimedia. Elinor Rowlands is a gifted writer/ poet and producer of film and soundscape. She layers sound and sculpts it around repeated images from nature. Images like that of a feather on a wall become emblematic, gaining meaning with each repetition. 

Both epic and ripe with intricate detail, her work reminds me of a Leonora Carrington psychological landscape, at one level displaying a consciousness echoing an ancient sensibility and at another level expressing something intensely contemporary.

Rowlands tells stories of her childhood and of family trauma, yet woven inside a poetry that takes us out away from the personal and into a universal space. 

There is rhythm to her performance; an enigmatic presence that persistently takes us out of her stories of oppression, abuse and hardship and back to nature.

Elinor Rowlands’ performance of poetry is profound, sad and soothingly reflective. 

She speaks about family history and family trauma in a beautifully mellow and gently self-assured way – interspersing this with evocative film clips accompanied by poetry and music which add emotional depth. 

This deeply intimate tale of family history is both personal and yet universal – Rowlands compellingly captures the shared shockwaves of personal trauma and the common bonds of difficulty which leave their deep impressions on a family.

Review of JOY of Theatre, Hammersmith Lyric 

Outside My Hands Are Clapping Review

Agnes Carrington-Windo, Reviewer, Plays to See, 2019