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Home » May 2021

May 2021

Welcome to our newsletter

Today is midsummer day – the Summer solstice and the longest day of the year.  I love the lengthening days and the long evenings and the late setting sun. 

Although the pandemic means that the future still looks uncertain for us, the warmer Summer weather means we are spending more time outside and this combined with the successful vaccination programme means we do feel safer planning live events outside. 

In London Brain Odysseys participants are planning to come together to film a walk we will make outside, representing our journey of recovery.  The final performance will take the form of a film, Spiral, that will be available for us all to see in September.

In Reading and High Wycombe we are planning our first outside public performance, Weather the Storm.  A development of Hospital Passion Play that was staged at the V&A in 2017, this new version will be staged at Garsington Opera.  We will record it so that we can all watch it together online in the Autumn.

We are co producing a film about vision loss with the Bristol stroke community and are also running a series of dance workshops  sharing our movement practices at a Dance and Health conference organised by Bristol Dance Futures at Arnolfini Gallery 1 – 2 September. 

Our masterclasses remain online and the next online masterclass will be in performance arts skills on Tuesday 6 July 2 – 3:30pm.

‘Weather the Storm’ Rehearsals

Our rehearsals for our opera ‘Weather the Storm’ are well underway – read all about it below!

‘Weather the Storm’ is a 45 minute opera collaboration between arts-in-health charity Rosetta Life and the Garsington Opera Adult Company. It is a new work by Orlando Gough with libretto by Lucinda Jarrett and Chris Rawlence, drawn from the experiences of stroke survivors. The opera will be performed by a company of professional singers, stroke survivors, Adult Company members and NHS Health Professionals under the direction of Karen Gillingham. ‘Weather the Storm’ is a development of the short online opera ‘I Look for the Think’, which was first streamed in September 2020, and was itself a development of ‘Hospital Passion Play’, performed at the Victoria and Albert Museum in September 2017. ‘Weather the Storm’ will be performed on the Garsington Opera stage at Wormsley on Friday 30 July 2021. 

Ambassadors’ Section of Website

We have created a section of the Stroke Odysseys website specifically for Ambassadors, which will allow access to resources and information about the sessions. This section is currently a work in progress – we have already created sections for the Reading group and the Brainwaves sessions.

Please follow the instructions below to log on.

  1. Click this link to visit the Stroke Odysseys website –
  2. Next, click ‘Log in’.
  3. Then type in the password, which is ‘meet’.
  4. Scroll down, then click ‘Read more’ under the ‘Noticeboard’ section.
  5. Finally, click the relevant section.

We held the London Odysseys Presents event on 5th May, on the themes of Childhood Games, Recovery and Resilience. A film of the performance is currently being edited, and will be available for viewing very soon!

What is Odysseys Presents?

Odysseys presents is a regular event that will happen every few months. It’s a bit like a cabaret event, with a variety of different acts, and featuring an open mic session where contributions are welcome from everyone who wants to take part. Each event will be ‘hosted’ and designed by a different Odysseys group who might decide a theme and pick a compere for the evening. Sometimes we might have a guest speaker or performer too!

Your space to share art work and poetry.

Send your work to Jennie for the next newsletter

Fiona, Reading Group

Stones from the Beach

Lil, London group

A Journey to the Orient

Lil, London group

Snakes and Ladders

Fragility and strength

B-b-back in pampers at seventy
In a wheelchair like a pram
And that erstwhile defeated stammer
L-l-locking up your lips
All to knock b-b-back your confidence.

Who would have thought mister fitness himself
Couldn’t even crawl like a baby?
That I mister go to consultant
Couldn’t even remember what day
That mister smart casual
Couldn’t even button up the pyjama top
All does knock back your confidence.

But God rich in mercy there is family surrounding
When friends patiently decipher the mumbles
And the carers compassionately brush your hair
While therapists whisper you can do it
All helps bring back your confidence.

When stroke support group colleague shouts out
Me too but I overcame
When ambassador quietly encourages
And you overcome that nagging doubt
Brings back strength and confidence
To get me back in the game.

Max, London Group

Rose and Lizzie – Zig Zag, performance in Bristol, 2020.


Few are aware of the impact stroke can have on vision, yet people who have had a stroke often find themselves living with unsettling disturbances of sight. Loss of vision on the left side may be described as well as impaired focus. Vision-linked systems like balance may be affected. These vision-related losses may combine to rob a person of their independence. It may not be as safe as it once was to boil a kettle or go out, let alone drive.

With a group from Bristol After Stroke who are living with vision loss, and Dr Phil Clatworthy, Consultant Stroke Neurologist at North Bristol NHS Trust, Rosetta Life has been asked to make a short film that explores this little understood phenomenon. What is the day-to-day impact of stroke vision loss? Should medical staff be more alert to its symptoms? How much more may be impacted than seeing clearly? How may freedom be threatened?

If you would like to know more, contact us at or 01608-676662.

When Andy Brewer had his stroke he was left with nearly half his visual field missing. His sight improved and this mask was his imaginative response.

Our ‘Brainwaves’ sessions have now been running for several weeks. The group has been responding to the themes of ‘Spirals’ and ‘Strength and Fragility’, and they have received sketchbooks to write or draw their ideas. These sessions will culminate in a film, Spiral, which will be available to watch in September.


My spirit is indomitable
strong and resolute
As strong as the ground beneath my feet
That Gives support, as solid as a rock
My body is weak, my Head spins
Arm and leg give pain
Only my spirit can overcome.
And give me a life I once knew

Leslie, London group

We are delighted to share this short video sent in by Reading Ambassador Wanjiku Croy, whose story featured recently at the global HerStory summit. 

The group have been busy rehearsing for new opera production ‘Weather the Storm’. Composed by Orlando Gough with a libretto from Chris and Lucinda, it has been created from your ideas, experiences and stories. 

We will be working with the Garsington Adult Community Company and NHS staff. The live stage performance will be taking place at Garsington Opera on 30th July – which we are all very excited about!

Performance Skills Masterclass with Elizabeth Mansfield

Tuesday 6th July

Weather the Storm

30th July
The final fully staged version of our opera delivered in partnership with Garsington Opera