November and, appropriately, we’re back with a bang! With four Macbeth and two Romeo & Juliet Interactive Workshops in Oxfordshire, Berkshire, Essex and North Yorkshire respectively, FINDING THE WILL is back working in primary schools again.
Macbeth Interactive Workshops
The dishes that make up the King’s Banquet in Macbeth are always a joy to hear – and the four workshops this month were no exception! On the large meat fest menu at Uffington Primary, we were all thrilled to learn there were also strawberries dipped in chocolate! The following day in Castleview Primary, Slough we were treated to a veritable feast of olives, waffles, truffle pie, rum, whisky and wine. Meanwhile St Mary’s Catholic Primary in Hornchurch served up kebabs, haggis, sushi and wasabi! I’m glad to say that the pig with an apple in its mouth made an appearance on every table too (alongside an array of poultry, vegetables and the odd healthy salad).
A discussion about ambition (provoked by Lady Macbeth’s ruthless ambitious streak) provided some comfort for those of us heading towards the autumn of life. Our future is in the safe hands of the 150 ten and eleven year olds who participated in the workshops and shared their dreams for life and careers. We met potential footballers, international rugby players, teachers, nurses, zookeepers, astronomers and (this one has stuck with me, I don’t know why) a cardio-thoracic surgeon! Ladies and gentlemen, we’re going to be alright!
Romeo & Juliet Interactive Workshops
Finally, after one Covid postponement in October, we made it to Grassington Primary, North Yorkshire in November. There, Years 5&6 were joined by children from nearby Burnsall Primary, all of whom had been studying Romeo & Juliet. Sometimes, having some knowledge of the story can detract from the fun of discovering what happens next, but not in this case. All the children put themselves in the shoes of the characters and those of the citizens of Verona. When our roving reporter Nick went out on to the piazza to gauge the tension level and how people felt, we got a real sense of how affected (or not) the Veronese were. Interestingly, on the whole Year 6 was happy to share its fears of living in a city full of street gangs and violence, when you’re trying “to go out just to buy some milk!”. On the other hand, the majority of Year 5 appeared to be quite comfortable living under such tension – possibly peer pressure making people afraid to speak out? Or, as we pointed out, worryingly they have all just got used to violence being normal….. isn’t it brilliant how plays written 400 years ago can still evoke such discussion and have so much relevance today?!
November Sum Up
So 50% of the schools we’ve visited this month have been entirely new to our work, and 50% know us of old.
Jules delivered the session with such passion, engagement and gravity. The children were completely sucked in. She struck a perfect balance between narration and child-involvement. Have booked before, and will do again.Year 6 Teacher, Castleview Primary, Slough
It’s been a funny old year for everyone of course but it’s been great that, thanks to all the lovely schools we visited this month, FINDING THE WILL can finish the year on such a positive note. We don’t have any schools booked in for December (still open for business though) but we are nicely busy in the Spring term with a mixture again of old and new schools. I should also just make mention of my November sidekick Nick Taylor. What a fabulous job he did and has already, I believe, proved to be popular with the young actors we’ve worked with. Thanks Nick – here’s to the Spring term!
So I’ll sign off 2021 next month with news of our exciting start to 2022. Schools, yes of course, but also universities and filming…………….till then, stay safe everyone x