happy families, the conversations we’re not having about adoption

by Pamela Neal (28 Oct 6.30pm, London)


Can we make happy families?

Can we impose identity on a child?

Do we need to ‘rescue’ children or should we be trying to support unhappy families?

What is really at the heart of our child protection system and adoption and why aren’t we talking about this?

A unique oral performance installation looking at some of the issues associated with child protection and adoption – informing public debate.


This is a piece of performance art created by Pamela Neil but performed by barrister Sarah Phillimore (@svphillimore). I attended the first performance in Bristol. I was a bit sceptical about how this format would work – but it did. It was brilliantly crafted to enable the message to come across at a digestible pace and with impact – and it made me reflect on familiar themes in ways I hadn’t before. It was really powerful and provoked some genuine conversation afterwards. This London performance will be its second outing and I would really recommend going if you can – whether you are a family justice “insider”, someone with experience of adoption in your own family, or simply someone with a general interest. I suspect that this second time around there will be more focus on encouraging responses and contributions at the end from the audience – the first time around I think people who did not know the performer or were unfamiliar with the subject matter were unsure if they could contribute.

The performance is free, but booking is essential. You can book tickets on eventbrite here.

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