OMAN-UARY! FINDING THE WILL is going to Oman! More of that later but first, JANUARY!

Langtons Junior Academy, Hornchurch

We kicked off 2024 with a visit to a school new to FINDING THE WILL – Langtons Junior Academy. A warm and friendly welcome greeted me on a particularly cold January day. Two Interactive Workshops on MACBETH with Year 5 followed. We even had proper thrones!

Male/Female Macbeths

We’ve always been keen on gender-blind casting here at FINDNG THE WILL, largely because Shakespeare didn’t write that many parts for females. So, it was great to have a male Macbeth in the morning and a female Macbeth in the afternoon. Macbeth number one was a joy to watch. His voice got louder, his confidence grew and his own pleasure in playing the role became more evident as the morning went on (as did his liking for strawberry cake and chocolate ice cream I might add!). Although Macbeth number two seemed pretty confident from the start, she too relished the role more and more as the story unfolded. As always, we managed to involve almost everyone in the story, whether it was sharing their ambitions or adding to the menu for the King’s banquet. In case you’re interested, at LJA, there are budding doctors, vets, scientists, teachers, actors and even an economist. Menu-wise, they favoured a meat fest, with the odd vegetable, salad and pancake thrown in!

Sadly Ms Davis, who has been liaising with me was not there on the day. Nonetheless, thanks go to her for inviting us in. We hope you’ve got some cracking work from the children as a result.

Oman! Wait for it…….first

Gender-blind Tempest in Essex

For the 6th year, FINDING THE WILL returned to Great Leighs Primary, near Braintree.

This lovely school has become one of our favourites, not least because everyone, staff and children, get stuck in! When the children are not working with us the practitioners, we rely on the class teachers and TAs to rehearse with the children and help them with their lines and movements. Parents and guardians also play a part here. This year, Nick and Ffion directed 120 children in THE TEMPEST. They had a great week and reported the following back to me on Friday night:

Oh my goodness! What a day! The dress was the best I’ve ever seen! Everyone just knew what they were doing first time! We had an amazing chicken joke courtesy of Penny. We had students who didn’t want to say anything, but still got up there and said one word! We had girls being boys and, very bravely, boys being girls brilliantly! And above all we had people doing things that they didn’t think they could. Some students in Year 6 really pushed themselves out of their comfort zone to perform with loud clear voices. a great week. Cheers from us both!

Nick and Ffion – FINDING THE WILL

Now I know you are wondering about the chicken joke, suggested as new material for Trinculo. You have to hear it really…………….

oh alright then…….

Huge thanks to Miss Le Masurier for organising the visit with me once again. here’s what Mr Garlick, the Head Teacher said to the parents:

Shakespeare at Great Leighs!
Well done to KS2 pupils for all their hard work preparing for the Shakespeare play ‘The Tempest’ today. It’s been great to see them come alive learning their parts and you should be, as we are, very proud of your amazing children. They have worked so hard this week. One of the best things, and there are many, about working in a school, is watching the children grow and develop as they move through the school. Seeing their confidence blossom is one of the most notable changes. Seeing children who may be generally on the quiet side standing on a stage and belting out a song or giving a fully immersive acting performance where they become a character is wonderful to see.

Thank you to Ffion and Nick from Finding the Will for the engaging workshops this week. We hope those
of you that joined us enjoyed the performance this afternoon.

Message to parents on school newsletter

We have one more school to visit in January. Nick is off to Whitehall Primary, Bristol at the end of the month to have another Tempestuous time with Year 3! It will be our third visit to this school, but Nick’s first. They will love him I know.

Oman – Dream trip to Muscat

Just as 2023 drew to a close, an email came out of the blue from The Royal Opera House, Muscat. A production of Benjamin Britten’s ‘A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM‘ is being staged on 9th and 10th February. In the run up to this, the Education Department want to run a Shakespeare Project. The Artistic Manager of the Opera House got in touch to see what FINDING THE WILL could offer. The upshot is that Richard and I are flying out on 3 February to run 9 Interactive Workshops over 3 days on A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM at the Opera House. What an unexpected treat to weave some FINDING THE WILL magic in Oman.

There will be three workshops each day.

Day One: 6-8 year olds; 8-10 year olds; 10-12 year olds

Day two: 6-8 year olds; 8-10 year olds; 10-12 year olds

Day three: 12 – 16 year olds, 16+ and university students

A Must See in Muscat, Oman

I’ll have lots to tell you about in February clearly!

O Man, what a start to the year! (see what I did there?!)


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