Effervescents POI:SON explores the emotional, physical and neurobiological effects on children, of growing up with parents who have alcohol or substance addictions.

Effervescent are an award-winning, artist-led, social impact design agency based in Plymouth, who use art and creativity to positively impact the well-being of their participants and audiences. They aim to make the world a kinder, happier place through transdisciplinary art, innovation, creative engagement and research.

For their latest show, POI:SON, the Effervescent team worked with a group of young people aged 12-16 over three weeks in the summer holidays to train them as artists, curators and producers. They explored the relevance of young people’s personal stories in the context of human history and worked around the theme of the body attempting to recover and protect itself, despite irreparable damage.

POI:SON explores the emotional, physical and neurobiological effects on children, of growing up with parents who have alcohol or substance addictions. Research shows that over three million children under 16 in the UK live with an adult binge drinker and between 250,000 and 350,000 children have parents who are problem drug users – POI:SON is important in showcasing the effects of these circumstances.

The production is an immersive performance where the audience enters the laboratory as a trainee neurologist in a roomful of evidence and monitor a child who has suffered abuse at home. The child blames themselves and has taken responsibility for the carnage at home, with significant hidden harms caused by parental addiction. As the trainee neurologist, you are required to unravel the peculiarities of the absent scientist’s experiment and explore the emotional, physical and neurobiological effects.

POI:SON Effervescent

Confronted with overlapping, contrasting voices through the wireless headphones, both the scientist and vulnerable young person impress on you what to do in this experiment.

But who do you listen to?

Told through audio, film and live performance, prepare to have your perceptions challenged, your senses sabotaged, and your instincts thrust into the spotlight.

POI:SON is an emotional rollercoaster – it is very real and completely chilling. The audience are forced to think very deeply about the sensitive issue, one that many of us have not realistically faced before. But that’s exactly the point. Effervescent are brilliant at promoting conversations about truly important topics that aren’t talked about enough. Their emphasis is on bringing kindness into the world and this is highlighted in POI:SON, where such an act can unknowingly save a child’s life.

The show is intense, to say the least – but it needs to be. It vividly conveys the message and presents some interesting visuals too. POI:SON is the first in a two-year study on how curating and production in a gallery space can impact young people’s mental wellbeing. I look forward to seeing what’s next!



POI:SON plays at Radiant, Plymouth until 24 April 2018. For further information, please visit the company website.