It’s been a while but we are back in the saddle! Since we were last in touch, FINDING THE WILL has been into two schools – two new schools to us into the bargain – and we are thrilled that the magic is still there!
Lake farm park academy
At the end of March, I finally got to Lake Farm Park Academy in Hayes. 54 weeks to the day since I led my last pre-pandemic workshop in Manchester, I got back on the horse with this delightful school and ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ with Year 5. For all freelancers out there, I’m glad to report that getting back in the saddle, back on the horse, is like riding a bike (probably easier in my case as I’ve always been hopeless on a bike). It was such a joy to swing back into action with questions, storytelling, performing and debate. And how brilliant for the children to have the opportunity to exercise their creative muscles in the company of each other after an incredibly disjointed school year for them.
Stand out moments
There were two moments in the day that really shone for me, both of which came when children answered questions, which just goes to prove that you can make a huge impression even if you are not chosen to play a specific part. Let me set the scene: The discussion is about whether Hermia should follow her heart (and marry Lysander, disobeying her dad and the law, thereby risking her life) or follow her head (and marry Demetrius, obey her dad and the law, and live an unhappy life). The majority leaned towards Hermia following her heart and one participant put it like this:
“I would follow my heart and marry Lysander, because if I follow my head and marry Demetrius, that would break Helena’s heart. She’s my friend.”Year 5 Lake Farm Park Academy
That’s brilliant isn’t it? Showing real thought and more empathy than you can shake a stick at! If only the world was full of people like that particular young lady.
And then in the afternoon, when we were embroiled in slinging insults at one another – half the class as Hermia and the other half as Helena, we got this brilliant explanation for Hermia yelling “You juggler!” at her friend.
“It’s a metaphor for Helena loving two men at once”Year 5 Lake Farm Park Academy
Simple isn’t it? But how fantastic to hear the correct grammatical definition from a ten year old!
So take a bow Year 5 – you did a fine job!
Fieldhead Carr Primary School
Last week I got back in the saddle again, complete with an overnight stay at our old friend Premier Inn! Fieldhead Carr Primary School in Leeds is another new school to FINDING THE WILL with a warm and friendly atmosphere from the moment you walk in. Year 6 were in the frame at this school to engage in a ‘Macbeth’ Interactive Workshop. It’s been a long time coming this one. Postponed from January to early March and finally to April, no lockdown was ever going to stop us working together in the end! And it was well worth the wait. Even without the costumes and props that we normally take with us for identification purposes (Covid-safe precautions still in force for the time being), you can see from the photos below how much the children got involved with this.
Macbeth extemporising was a joy to listen to. When it came to the King’s banquet, even the shyest children in the class contributed. And while we’re on the subject of the King’s favourite food, Dino Nuggets – why not?! So again, take a bow Year 6, you too did a cracking job!
Huge thanks then to both Ms Alimohamed at Lake Farm Park and Miss Burrows at Fieldhead Carr for sticking with it and sticking with us throughout the last lockdown. Scheduling and re-scheduling is not always easy at the best of times but, here at FTW HQ, we’re really glad you did! You’ve helped us get back in the saddle in more ways than one, including (unknowingly) providing me with material (as above) to use when talking to Primary School teachers in Delhi last Friday morning. I was invited by the Delhi Public School Society to lead a webinar on Using Theatre in Education in Everyday Teaching for 200 teachers in and around Delhi. What a privilege and an honour. We send warmest wishes to all our new friends in Delhi and hope you remain as safe as possible.
In Other News…….
School bookings have started coming in again and June is pretty well booked up, with visits to Primary Schools in Staffordshire, Berkshire, London and Peterborough. FINDING THE WILL is also out performing LIVE again! Richard is performing CALL ME OZ for Popp theatre, live and indoors (I know, don’t faint!) on Thursday 3 June in a Covid safe venue where the audience sits in individual bubbles.
We will then be at Bodmin Keep, Cornwall the following night on Friday 4 June performing ‘NAMING THE VIEW‘ in the open air. And then…….August………we are taking all six shows in the BARD HEADS series to the Edinburgh Fringe for the full run! There will be much more about that in the coming weeks and months of course. It’s fair to say though that FINDING THE WILL is well and truly BACK IN THE SADDLE and we couldn’t be happier!
Stay safe everyone (we don’t want to get saddle sore for nothing!)!