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When The Trees Breathe Out

Environmental Fairytale by The Purple Ladies

Kirkwood Nature Reserve & Besson Community Gardens, London


“When the Trees breathe out” is a performance project based on an ecological fairytale devised and created by The Purple Ladies. The Purple Ladies take a group of 15 primary school children on an immersive outdoor adventure and aim to ignite the children's sense of play, curiosity, imagination and participation with the powerful forces of nature. 

This project also aims to support teachers and teacher assistants with the curriculum in new subjects like mindfulness, science and nature.  The content encourages children to use and respect open/green space and nature as well as improve their physical and mental health through simple meditation, creative exploration but also simply being and moving in Nature. This activity also responds to the massive impact COVID-19 had on young people's physical and psychological health and seeks to address inequalities by bringing creative activity to the most disadvantaged groups and making it accessible to all. 


'When the trees breathe out' was first performed at Kirkwood Nature reserve (Peckham) in partnership with Jon Donne Primary School and has been a success beyond our imagination.To date, The Purple Ladies toured When the trees breathe out to 4 different primary schools in the London borough of Lewisham & Southwark and 420 different children were able to experience When The trees Breathe Out.


Please follow the link below and see feedback from Ms. Dickenson's describing her class children's experience, as well as the great impact it had on children with learning difficulties and special needs. 














Prior to the performance, the schools receive an online teacher's pack with poems, exercises, songs and meditations to prepare the children to immerse in the performance and induce a sense of relaxation and mindfulness.


This carers and children pack was created by The Purple Ladies and friends during the 2 lockdowns with the support of the arts council England emergency grant.



Concept by Lina Jungergard

Devised by Dagmara Bilon, Khadijatou Doyneh, Christelle Lafille

Performed by Dagmara Bilon, Lina Jungergard, Christelle Lafille, Djanan Turan, Zahara O’Brien
Song lyrics by Helen George

Music by Sarah Bear and Jana Humaneska
Costumes by Robin Harvey
Photo and video documentation by Louise Boer

Many Thanks to our partners and friends:
The Cossall TRA hall, Friends of Kirkwood Nature Reserve, Sorcha Linton, Dan Nicholls, PaaT, Pietro Pingitone, Joey Robinson, Julie Simpson, Violaine Bailleul and Florine Zegers.
All the children and teachers at John Donne Primary school and our Purple children, Augustine, Iris, Matilda and Mia.

Sponsored by The Arts Council England, Southwark Council & Lewisham Council. Thank you for all of your support!

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