Pandemic and Beyond Podcasts

The Pandemic and Beyond podcasts showcase the vital contribution that Arts and Humanities research has made to Covid-19 response and recovery. In each episode, a member of our team speaks to a project leader and someone that their project has had an impact on to find out about how their research is helping us deal with the impacts of the pandemic. The podcasts are available to listen to right here, or on

Episode 11: Heartbeat: Flute Theatre, People’s Palace Projects and La Plaza Theatre, Peru on making theatre with diverse participants

How has theatre transformed the lives of families living with neurodiverse children during and beyond lockdown? In this podcast, Paul Heritage (People’s Palace Projects), Kelly Hunter MBE and Joshua Welch (Flute Theatre), Alexandra Ajauro Alvarez (People’s Palace Projects and La Plaza Theatre, Peru) and Lisha Rooney, the mother of a neurodiverse 10-year-old, talk to Pascale Aebischer about how they used the ‘Heartbeat’ method on Zoom to bring some joy, connection and structure into the households of locked-down families in dire need of support.

Find out more about their work here and here; a documentary about the Heartbeat project with La Plaza Theatre can be found here. You can read more about Lisha and her son Lumen’s work with Flute Theatre here.

To support Flute Theatre’s current work with neurodiverse individuals, contribute to their fundraiser here.

A transcript of this episode is available here.

Episode 10: The Creative Doodle Book

Victoria Tischler talks to Matthew Reason (York St John University) and creative practitioner Vicky Ackroyd (of Totally Inclusive People) about their work on the Creative Doodle Book project.

The Creative Doodle Book is a hands-on resource developed with Mind the Gap to support socially distanced community arts practice during the Covid-19 pandemic. It has helped people from marginalised and vulnerable groups to express their creativity in new and exciting ways.

A transcript of the episode is available here.

Episode 9: The Arts and Humanities Contribution to Covid-19 Research and Recovery

In this podcast, Rebecca Wilson talks to Pascale Aebischer about her work on the Pandemic and Beyond project.

The conversation covers the significant contributions arts and the creative industries make to public health, community-building and the economy, explores some key misconceptions, and considers the long-term innovations that have happened as a result of COVID-19.

This podcast was recorded for the University of Exeter’s Exeplore series.

You can find out more about the work of The Pandemic and Beyond here and access the team’s initial ‘snapshot’ blogpost here.

A transcript of the podcast is here.

Episode 8: Local food growing during Covid-19

In this Pandemic and Beyond episode, Pascale Aebischer talks to Les Levidow and Andrea Berardi (Open University) about how growing food locally has benefitted and strengthened communities during Covid-19, and how the project has empowered participants to tell stories about their experiences. 

The Local food-growing initiatives respond to the Covid-19 crisis: enhancing well-being, building community for better futures project’s spring 2021 results contain an overview, blogs and links to participants’ films.

Download a transcript of the podcast here.

Episode 7: Ritual and religion through the pandemic with Dr Joshua Edelman and Revd Dr Nathan Eddy

Pascale Aebischer talks to Dr Joshua Edelman (Manchester Metropolitan University) and Revd Dr Nathan Eddy (Interim Director of the Council of Christians and Jews) about how religious communities have adapted during the pandemic, and how ritual has endured and transformed in the face of social distancing.

Joshua Edelman is the lead researcher of the Social Distance, Digital Congregation: British Ritual Innovation under Covid-19 (BRIC-19) project which aims to document and understand how religious communities have come together during the pandemic and how these experiences might make those communities stronger and more resilient in the future. 

Download a transcript of this podcast here.

Episode 6: Motion Capture and Virtual Dance Performance with Dr Dan Strutt and Clemence Debaig

Pascale Aebischer talks to Dr Dan Strutt (Goldsmiths University, London) and dancer and computational artist Clemence Debaig about their experimentation with live motion capture technology to bring physically-distant dancers together to enable new ways of rehearsing and performing choreographic dance work. They speak about the challenges of creating dance remotely, but also explore the new creative opportunities and benefits that this virtual form of performance might bring.

You can watch some of the experimental performances created by the project in their live showcase here

You can find out more about Clemence Debaig here and you can follow the project on Instagram @goldsmithsmocapstreamer

Download a transcript of the podcast here.

Episode 5: Arts, public health and wellbeing in care homes – The Culture Box project with Victoria Tischler and Errol Francis

Sarah Hartley speaks to Victoria Tischler and Errol Francis about their ‘Culture Box’ project which promotes social interaction and public health through the arts in the time of Covid-19 for people living with dementia in care homes. They speak about how the provision of innovative arts activities during the pandemic can alleviate loneliness and improve wellbeing. 

You can find out more about the Culture Box project here, and you can follow the team on Twitter here, and Instagram here

Download a transcript of the podcast here.

Episode 4: Trust, Communication and Twitter during the Pandemic with Andrew Kehoe and Robert Lawson

Des Fitzgerald speaks to Andrew Kehoe and Robert Lawson about their work gathering and analysing over 84 million pandemic-related tweets as part of their work on ‘TRAC:COVID – Trust and Communication: A Coronavirus Online Visual Dashboard’. They discuss what the dashboard can tell us about the online conversation surrounding Covid-19, attitudes to public health interventions, and the spread of misinformation.  

You can find out more about the TRAC: Covid project here and you can follow the team on Twitter here. 

You can explore the dashboard here.

You can access The Conversation piece on the project here.

Download a transcript of this episode here.

Episode 3: Human Rights in Care Homes with Professor Wayne Martin and Angela Rhodes

Victoria Tischler talks to Wayne Martin and Angela Rhodes about the impact of Covid-19 on care homes and their residents. Angela speaks about the challenges she has personally faced as Deputy General Manager of a care home during the pandemic, and reflects on the support provided by Rapid Response Webinars run by the Essex Autonomy Project, led by Professor Martin.

Find out more about Wayne Martin’s work on Ensuring Respect for Human Rights in Locked-Down Care Homes and how it seeks to improve the protection of human rights in care homes.

Download a transcript of the episode here.

Episode 2: Arts, Culture and Mental Health with Josie Billington, Lucy Geddes and Helen Wilson

Pascale Aebischer talks to Josie Billington (University of Liverpool), Lucy Geddes (Liverpool Philharmonic) and Helen Wilson (The Reader) about the impact that restricted access to arts and culture during Covid-19 has had on mental health. They discuss the research into access to culture and mental health in the Liverpool City region, and Lucy Geddes and Helen Wilson speak about their experiences of providing arts to communities within Liverpool during the pandemic.

Download a transcript of the episode here.

You can find out more about the Covid-19 CARE project here, you can read about The Reader here, and about the Liverpool Philharmonic here.

Episode 1: Digital Theatre Transformation with Lucy Askew and Pascale Aebischer

Des Fitzgerald speaks to Lucy Askew and Pascale Aebischer. Pascale and Lucy were collaborators on a recent AHRC-funded Covid-19 rapid response project that investigated the way that Creation Theatre and their collaborators, Big Telly Theatre Company, adapted their in-person production of The Tempest to a digital production delivered via Zoom in the early days of the pandemic. They reflect on how the company faced the challenges of the pandemic, the impact the digital production had on the artists and audiences, how the research transformed Creation Theatre’s practice, and the future of digital performance. 

You can download a transcript of the podcast here.

Access the final research report and digital toolkit for free.

Find out more about Creation Theatre and their upcoming performances.

Find out more about Big Telly Theatre.