Cork popping!

Another excuse to pop a cork!

Happy New Year and here is another excuse to pop a cork – it is FINDING THE WILL’s tenth birthday!  Unbelievably, our first job was way back in 2007 –  in all honesty I can’t really remember where (possibly Swindon, possibly Hereford) – but we have not looked back since. Our portfolio, as they say, has grown and now we have a dozen primary schools we visit on a regular basis, and close to thirty schools we visit on an ad hoc basis. We are lucky enough to have Bernard Cribbins OBE as one of our patrons (surely he should have been knighted by now?) and also Lord Blair of Boughton and the Lady Blair and Sue Pritchard (no accolades as yet but richly deserving of them).

Severed head

A particularly interesting prop!

When Richard and I formed FINDING THE WILL, it was with the intention of providing us with an income of sorts when we were ‘out of work’ as actors. Little did we know it would take off in such an all encompassing and fulfilling way. We visit primary schools and special schools up and down the country all year round and often find ourselves looking forward to the holidays almost as much as the teachers and children! We have regular schools in Yorkshire, Cambridgeshire, Warwickshire, London, Wiltshire and Lincolnshire, and this year (in fact over the next three months) we are happy to be adding Wigan, Bristol and Weston-super-Mare, as well as returning to Bracknell and Cornwall! Apart from anything else it is a great way to see the country!

Anson Weekly

We are big in Brent!

Early on we made the decision to stick with just six plays: Macbeth; The Tempest; A Midsummer Night’s Dream; Romeo & Juliet; Hamlet and Twelfth Night. This has proved to be a success, not only from the point of view of our practitioners but also from that of the schools. Too much choice throws everyone into a spin and, to be honest, the most popular plays for KS2 are ‘Macbeth’, ‘The Tempest’ and ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ so everyone is happy. Our Shakespeare Project Week culminating in a performance by the children remains our best seller, and those schools with whom we work each year can enjoy the six year play cycle.  We’ve watched children grow with us from aged 7-11 blossoming in confidence annually – that is incredibly satisfying! Ten years on and we work with approximately 3000 children per year, and we are expanding, beginning with the addition of seven freelance associate practitioners. Exciting times ahead!

Hamlet, Montagu Academy, Mexborough

Hamlet, Montagu Academy, Mexborough

The Tempest

The Tempest, Pinchbeck East Primary School

Macbeth at Christ Church Primary School, Surbiton, Surry

Macbeth at Christ Church Primary School, Surbiton, Surrey

R & J

Romeo & Juliet, Montagu Academy, Mexborough

So to all the teachers, TAs, parents and not least, the children, with whom we have worked over the last ten years – all thirty thousand of you – THANK YOU! And to our friends, supporters, web designers, publicity designers, and not least, our long suffering partners – THANK YOU!  And finally William Shakespeare – what would we have done without you? THANK YOU!

To Party or Not To Party

Happy Birthday FINDING THE WILL!

Now go on………Pop that cork!


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