Thursday, 19 February 2009

Voices: The Conference

Voices: The Conference

For the past ten years Greenwich and Lewisham Young People's Theatre has been running the Voices project, supporting young people from refugee and migrant backgrounds through the arts. The forthcoming conference, on the 4th March 2009, at the Albany Theatre in Deptford, will focus on 'Working Creatively with ESOL and EAL Young People'. Drama and the arts within language learning contexts is an expanding area within applied theatre and this will be an opportunity to share best practice.For more information you can contact:

Saturday, 3 January 2009

Dave Eggers Speech


As part of the Drama in Communities unit I have been co-teaching at St Mary's University College in Twickenham we looked at the concept of utopia and how it can inform the way we make community/applied theatre and arts projects. I recently saw a talk by Dave Eggers on TED (see link and video), which I think illustrates this idea; that we shouldn't let our ideals and values be compromised in the work we make for young people and communities...

Sunday, 28 December 2008

Keith Park

Through his work teaching and supporting young people with multiple sensory impairments and learning disabilities Keith Park has developed a form of interactive storytelling.

In Keith's words: 'The method used is call and response which is an approach many thousands of year old and is still used in various forms throughout the world. The storyteller calls out a line and the other participants respond either by repeating the same words or by calling out a different line, and so on throughout the story. This establishes a rhythmic exchange or communication and provides a powerful momentum that encourages all participants to become involved in some way. Those participants who do not speak can rock, clap, stamp, nod, and of course, sign.'

Keith works with young people and adults in a range of settings including schools and theatres (stages provide a good source of resonance, which is one way of involving people with multiple sensory impairments in the sessions). He also takes groups to settings that suit the theme of the texts being used e.g. Cockney Rhyming Slang versions of the Bible Stories in churches and cathedrals, sea shanties in the Maritime Museum and Shakespeare at the Globe Theatre. The best way to get an understanding of the work is to join a session. Here are some dates of forthcoming sessions Keith is running:

Tuesday 6th Jan - Churchill Theatre - Cinderella

Wednesday 7th Jan - Churchill Theatre - Cinderella

Tuesday 13th Jan - Globe - The Tempest

Wednesday 14th Jan - Westminster Abbey - Bible Stories in Cockney Rhyming Slang

Friday 16th Jan - Globe - Romeo and Juliet

Thursday 22nd Jan - St Paul's Cathedral - Bible Stories in Cockney Rhyming Slang

Friday 23rd Jan - Globe - The Tempest

Monday 25th Jan - Globe - Romeo and Juliet

You need to let him know if you want to go along so leave a message on this site and I can put you in touch with him. See the links on this page for more about his work.

Wednesday, 10 December 2008

Rewrite Script Writing Competition

I am on the commitee of an organisation called Rewrite. They are running a writing competition for young people. See below for more details:

Rewrite Playwriting Competition for Young People

Theme: We are a better country than this!
Toward the hope of a better day

Age Categories:
11 to 18 years old
18 to 21 years old

Rewrite believes that young people have the power to change the world. We believe that creative writing and theatre can tell strong stories and portray emotional journeys that can really change hearts and minds.

We’re looking for the writers of tomorrow who want to use the power of words to tell us about their lives, their dreams and hopes for the future.

Can you write a short play or monologue (no more than 7 minutes) around the theme, 'We are a better country than this' OR 'Toward the hope of a better day'?

You can interpret this any way you choose. What are the things in your life that are most important to you? Perhaps you’re concerned with safety on the streets, or how people are treated at school or in your community. Perhaps you care about what’s happening in other parts of the world.

It’s really up to you!

If you win, your play will be performed in a rehearsed reading by professional actors at the Rewrite AGM on Thursday 29th January 2009, 7pm, Oval House Theatre, South London.

The competition is open to anyone aged 11-21 living in London.
Deadline: 9th January 2009.

Please read the competition rules & guidelines. For more information, please contact Rewrite on 07709 764420 or email

Competition Rules & Guidelines.
1. Entries are free
2. Entries can be from individuals or groups.
3. Entrants must be aged between 11 and 21 and be residents of inner or greater London.
4. Only entries submitted in paper form, or via email will be acceptable. You can submit as many entries as you like, but each should have a separate entry form.
5. Entries should be accompanied by an entry form (attached). The entrants name or details must not appear anywhere on the play itself.
6. Entries must be submitted by 9thJanuary 2009.
7. Winners will be notified by 20th January 2009 and will be expected to attend the rehearsed reading on 29th January 2009.
8. Entries must be no more than 7 minutes in length (roughly 14 pages long or less).
9. Please note, we are unable to return submissions.
10. By entering the competition, you grant the right for Rewrite to produce the play in a rehearsed reading on 24th or 25th November 2007. After this, Rewrite will have to seek your permission to produce your work.
11. This competition is not open to any Rewrite staff or children of Rewrite staff.
12. Rewrite reserve the right not to select winners if it is deemed there is no winning entry.
Please remember you must not include your name and address anywhere on your script.

Please send completed scripts, with entry forms to:
34 Gilesmead
79 Camberwell Church St
Or email to

For further information, please call 07709 764420
For further information about Rewrite’s work, please visit:

Sunday, 7 December 2008

Real Roles

Thinking back to the Heart 'n Soul event, another aspect of their work that inspired me was their work in promoting the creation of 'Real Roles' for people with learning disabilities across sectors. The pioneering work of Heart 'n Soul in employing people with learning disabilities in equal, paid jobs within their organisation and on their events is now being looked to by local authorities and other national agencies as a model of best practice. To me this work, along with their promotion of learning disabled arts practitioners, is really important in changing the way our society views people with learning disabilities.