Is it really the end of term already? Well probably not quite yet if you are a school but, for us here at FINDING THE WILL, it’s farewell 2017 and Merry Christmas! Yes we have visited three schools in Kent, Slough and Bracknell delivering workshops on ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’, ‘Macbeth’ and ‘Romeo & Juliet’ since last we spoke and now it’s time to hang up our codpieces for Christmas!
The beginning of the month saw me visit Holy Trinity Primary in Dartford, Kent for the first time. As only Year 4 were taking part in the workshop, I led two workshops by myself (30 children in each). There were some cracking performances in both sessions, and also a really interesting discussion on Hermia’s dilemma at the beginning of the play. It’s good to get a nine year old’s perspective on whether it’s better to follow your head, obey your father, marry the man you don’t love, keep your life and risk being unhappy for its entirety or follow your heart, disobey your father, marry the man you do love, risk your life but be happy for its duration (however long that may be). A thorny issue and no mistake! Personally I’m always glad to hear from the risk-takers!
Next both Richard and I went to another new school – Castleview Primary, Slough. What a glorious day we had here! We worked with Year 6 all day and once again enjoyed some corking performances. However it was the answers to some of the questions that really stuck with us – how many adults reading this would have responded to the question “What do you think is on the banqueting table for the King?” with this answer…….”A swan stuffed with a quail in a red wine jus”! And why not?? Here at FTW this is what we love most – imagination!
Finally this week we paid a surprise last minute visit to Kennel Lane Bracknell. This is an amazing special school where we are now frequent visitors and it is always a joy. ‘Romeo & Juliet” can be a challenge for anyone – we may know the more famous bits like the balcony scene and even (SPOILER ALERT! the fact that they don’t live happily ever after – but the intricacies of the plot are not all so well known. Not a problem for KS3 at Kennel Lane – they were all over it! Again memorable performances but particularly from our feisty Juliet – a genuinely natural actor who, we hope, is being encouraged to do as much drama as possible – she is most certainly very talented.
And finally today, our end of term was at the University of Gloucester where we were invited to be part of a panel of professional artists/practitioners. Our mission was to talk to the twenty or so third year Performing Arts students about our work, how we got here, and how the creative skills they are currently acquiring can be transferred to many walks of life, not merely acting, singing and dancing. What a lovely way to end our year!
I am off now to be an elf at the North Pole/Eden Project……….did I detect a small snigger? Ah well, such is the life of a freelance thesp. If you are very good, I might even post one more blog with an Elf picture before Christmas………….but only if you are very good boys and girls! Enjoy the end of term until then…………….