We made it! School’s out and the summer fun begins! What a year we’ve had and, whilst we can’t relax completely (far from it), we can all exhale a collective sigh of relief because we are here.
End of Year School report
During the academic year 2020-21 we have worked in 6 schools – That’s 2 project weeks and 5 days of interactive workshops (2 days in one school in case you were scratching your head at my maths!). All joyous but far less than our normal working year of course. In a typical year, FINDING THE WILL works with 2000 children but in this untypical year it’s been about 600. In fact we did not enter a school until the end of March – exactly 54 weeks after the last time! During the course of 12 weeks, we delivered 11 interactive workshops and 2 project weeks on A Midsummer Night’s Dream; The Tempest and Macbeth to primary schools in Middlesex, Yorkshire, Staffordshire, Surrey, London and Cambridgeshire.
The other day I received in the post a sheaf of letters from Year 4 at Westende Junior School, Surrey. What a treat! Apart from the fact that lots of the children re-told parts of the story of A Midsummer Night’s Dream in their letters, they also mentioned things they had learned. Here’s a sample (remember these are Year 4 children so 9 years old at most):
“Whilst I was watching the play, I learned that you can’t be forced be do something you don’t have to. Also that William Shakespeare wrote some very funny plays.” (Niamh)
“I learnt that you can’t make someone do something they don’t want do. Shakespeare is great at writing funny plays.” (Annabelle)
“I learnt that Shakespeare is an amazing writer and that his plays are mind bending. I also learnt that you don’t need a stage to perform, you just need confidence and spirit.” (Grace)
“I learnt that if I put my good self out then I can do anything in front of people.” (Iyla)
“I felt overjoyed to be King Oberon and play an important part. It was the best play I have done in my whole life. Thank you.” (Freddie)
“Thank you for coming into our school. We had so much fun, we all loved it and the fancy words were cool!” (Oliver)
Out of the mouths of babes……..We’ll take that – you can’t buy reviews like that!
Fun times ahead this summer
Talking of Reviews, we’re hoping to gain a few more this summer at the “greatest celebration of arts and culture on the planet.”
Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2021
Now if anyone had said to me this time last year “Good luck for your run at the Edinburgh Fringe in 2021” I’d have said “Go shake your ears!”. But guess what? Two weeks today we are on our way! We may have mentioned our Edinburgh Monologue Marathon once or twice before but now it is within touching distance. As I write we are waiting for the Edinburgh Fringe machine to crank up and put BARD HEADS in the listings and on sale. This should happen at any moment, so keep your eyes peeled for future social media posts about BARD HEADS from either FINDING THE WILL or our wonderful producer TORTIVE THEATRE – the first two shows in the series of six will open on Tuesday 10 August. Coincidentally that is A level results day, so a lot of jangling nerves from all parts of the UK on that day!
This means that next month I’ll be writing live from the Edinburgh Festival. If you can’t make it to Edinburgh, don’t worry, there may still be a chance for you to catch each of our six shows from the comfort of your own sofa in the autumn. Each show will be recorded and, at some point, when the weather is foul and you don’t want to venture further than the kitchen for a small libation of your choice, there will be a special screening (or six) of BARD HEADS IN EDINBURGH.
For now though, it only remains for me to to wish you well over the Summer Weeks ahead. Wherever you are spending them, look after yourselves and each other. It’s still a bit hairy out there so stay safe. Speak again soon!