We invited David Woods to undertake an Impossible Task.  See him here attempting a 4 minute mile.
Woods' 4 minute mile attempt
A mile
David Woods
Company: Ridiculusmus

Year the project commenced: 2019 
Year it became impossible: 2020 
Audience not reached: 600​​​​​​​​​​​​​​
For David Woods and the multi-award winning theatre company, Ridiculusmus, this was to be the last outing of three plays [Give Me Love, The Eradication of Love in Western Lapland, and The Importance of Being Ernest (a two hander)] that they had been working on since 2013. The works examined contemporary mental health issues and were to be presented over a one-week period alongside panel talks with experts from Western Lapland and the UK who were involved in the research that had originally inspired the projects. Additionally, there would be a three-day workshop with local artists and students.
 The bundle of activities were brought together under the banner “Dialogue as the Embodiment of Love” which is also the title of a remarkable medical paper by Professor Jaakko Seikkulla on the successes of the open dialogue approach for working with psychosis. His approach had had a powerful effect on all three works and Woods’ ongoing performance practice and more recent career switch to psychology. The presentations were all to take place at the University of Sheffield Drama Studio which was the site of Woods' first public performance in 1987.  Due to Covid-19, all international travel was stopped which meant Woods wouldn't have been able to attend even if the theatres were able to open, which they weren’t.
The outing was also key to acquitting a long overdue grant from the Wellcome Trust in London (funds from which would have made the ensuing period of inactivity financially bearable). In order to still acquit that grant, Woods agreed to present a digital event instead which involved presentations on the different workings, sharing a series of short video clips and discussing them with each other before including a guest speaker for a brief exchange and answering audience questions.   At the end of the session, a link to a full-length recording of the performances was shared which was active for three days. Audience members were able to pay what they liked towards these efforts.
For Woods the online experience was pleasant but felt time-limited as the currency of the recordings would diminish drastically the more they were shared. The inability to share in situ and the inherent refreshing of the work entailed in that made the digital exchange feel extremely unsatisfying. It is unlikely they will share them online again and there are no plans to perform the trilogy in their entirety in the future.
Co-Artistic Director and Performer - Jonathan Haynes 

Co-creator and Performer - Patrizia Paolini 

Co-creator and Performer - Richard Talbot 

Give Me Your Love Images - Sarah Walker 

Die Die Die Images - Bryony Jackson 
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