It’s a new term, we have new people and new (and old) adventures to tell you about!

New Term, New Academic Year

Well, after the weirdest of weird 18 months for children, staff and parents alike (not to mention the humble drama practitioner), FINDING THE WILL is back! As you see from above, we have updated our short promotional video, adding in some new photos as well as keeping some of our favourites. Bookings for the new academic year have also started coming in again from some of our regular schools as well as some new ones. So far, we are heading to Oxfordshire, Devon, London, Essex, North Tyneside, Nottinghamshire and Cambridgeshire – new counties, new schools and new practitioners too!

new practitioners

I’m delighted to welcome Nick Taylor and Ffion Glyn to the FINDING THE WILL family. I have known this lovely, vastly experienced in Theatre in Education, husband and wife team for four years. I have been looking for a while for experienced practitioners with the desire and ability to travel, sometimes at the drop of a hat, so I am over the moon that Nick and Ffion have agreed to join us. Both are fabulous actors with wonderful voices that can soothe and take command in equal measure! You can read more about them both here. Personally I can’t wait to work with them again.

Nick Taylor
Ffion Glyn

Richard Curnow

I just want to say something publicly here about FINDING THE WILL’s co-founder and my very dear friend, Richard Curnow, For a few years now, Richard has been contemplating stepping back from the educational side of FINDING THE WILL. His move to Cornwall last year has cemented his resolve and, frankly, with the beautiful Cornish coast literally on his doorstep, who can blame him? Obviously he has been a stalwart of the company since its inception in 2007, writing scripts, making costumes and delivering hundreds of Interactive Workshops and Project Weeks alongside me. He has touched the lives of thousands of children and staff over the fourteen years that FTW has been in existence and, I know, many schools will be devastated when I turn up without him (no offence to our other practitioners!)! I too will miss working with him hugely. However he will still be around in the background. He will still be writing scripts for the Project Weeks, he’ll still be making costumes for the workshops (at least I hope he will because I am hopeless on that front!) and, I daresay, if you happen to be a teacher in Cornwall and book FINDING THE WILL, you might well be fortunate to have the privilege of his company, expertise and knowledge in your school.

Richard leading a Twelfth Night Workshop at Hampton Junior School.
Richard leading a Twelfth Night Workshop at Hampton Junior School.

Luckily for me, I will still get to work with him, not in primary schools but in theatres, village halls and studios, as we continue to tour BARD HEADS and NAMING THE VIEW.

Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2021

Avid readers of this blog will know that last month Richard and I took all 6 of our shows in the BARD HEADS series to Edinburgh for the festival. This was not something we had even considered this time last year but TORTIVE THEATRE, with whom we collaborated earlier this year to live-stream the shows online, set the wheels in motion and off we went! 15 shows – 30 performances – 3 weeks – 2 x 4**** Reviews from Ed Fringe Review and finally, the day after we finished,  a 5 ***** Review from Broadway Baby! Click on the links to read them. We were also performing in probably the most beautiful venue on the Edinburgh Fringe – The Drawing Room of The Georgian House (National Trust Scotland) – so you might say that we got lucky on all fronts! We are very grateful, not only for the opportunity but also, for the generosity of our many backers who got us there, via the Kickstarter #MonologueMarathon campaign.

The Drawing Room at The Georgian House, Edinburgh (Venue 343)
The Drawing Room at The Georgian House, Edinburgh (Venue 343)

NAMING THE VIEW Arts Council England funding

Finally, some even more good news! You might recall that back in March I wrote a blog in which I mentioned that our first Arts Council Application to film NAMING THE VIEW had been turned down. Undaunted, I sought further advice and re-submitted it at the end of May. I am thrilled to say that the second attempt was successful! We have been funded to film a studio performance of the play, complete with In-Vision signers, audio description and closed captions. There will be three live screen events and then the film will be ‘on demand’ for a month. NAMING THE VIEW is a beautiful, powerful piece of theatre written by the super-talented Richard Curnow and stars us both in three roles (he plays two). The play is based on THE TAMING OF THE SHREW and tackles the sensitive subject of coercive control and domestic/economic abuse. It has been variously described as ‘moving, thought-provoking, poignant, powerful, relevant, absolutely bloody brilliant’, so we can’t wait to share it with a wider audience on screen and, with luck, as a piece of live theatre out on the road once again. Meanwhile I’ll keep you updated on the progress of the filming (scheduled for January 2022).

So that’s it for now – lots of excitement, new ways of working and, I hope, fun times ahead. 2022 is shaping up to be a busy year. Let’s keep everything crossed that Covid-19 doesn’t rear its ugly head again and scupper everything once more. Stay safe everyone, we’re nearing the edge of the woods but we’re still not quite out of them.

Till next time…..


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