The Thames Project

In March we were about to perform 13 devised children’s shows in 9 schools. All were postponed. By June we realised that with great disappointment that they weren’t going to happen. So we put our heads together and came up with ideas for honouring the children’s amazing work. Most of the schools we were working with have very low access to online learning so although initially we were really excited about making films of the performances this was not going to be accessible to most of the children. Instead, we made creative packs for each of the children which were sent out to the children’s homes. We honoured the stories in written form with images. We sent personal messages from the practitioners to  the children. We remembered fantastic moments from the workshops and came up with activities for the children to do at home. And the Thames team came together  by Zoom and worked it all out together. This is what some of the teachers said:

“Thank you – the packs both look amazing!”

“Thank you so much for all your support and guidance with the Thames Project. It was an amazing thing to be part of, despite not being able to see the end result. On a personal note, you treated my grandfather’s story with so much respect and appreciation – a massive thank you for it all :)”

We’re absolutely delighted that the LDBSLAT academy chain have committed to funding this fantastic project for next year in whatever form it will take.

We were engaged in February 2019 by the LDBS Academies Trust to run a creative project for all 14 Year 4 classes across the trust. We decided on the theme of the river Thames and set to work to create a new piece of theatre and then run workshops with all of the classes towards their own performances.

Alison, Emily, Matt and Catherine devised and performed ‘The Sailor and the Mudlark’  We had our usual storytelling, songs, puppetry, sensory props (including a 5 metre multi-purpose Thames cloth) and audience participation.

Emily and Annette pulled out all the stops in their fantastic making. The children helped the mudlark with a dilemma about whether to let her cat join the sailor on board the ship.fullsizeoutput_1971Then we went back into all the schools and in each school one of our drama practitioners worked with the children during the term to create their own performancesIMG_2733The children worked on drama games, still images, story exploration, poem writing. choral speaking, thought tracking and song creation. They also had art workshops on shadow puppet lantern and banner making ImageDisplay-2Catherine and Alison led workshops and we also worked with some fantastic new practitioners: Bex Milner, Amie Taylor, Jools Voce, Vicki Hawkins, Lehni Lamide and Kate Hart.ImageDisplay-5

The project went so well LDBSLAT asked us to do it again this year.  We were delighted to be working with a new performer and practitioner Paul Andrew and had some fantastic feedback about the performance:

“A compelling storyline and talented performers!”

“The children were captivated. They were so impressed”

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Jools, Bex, Amie, Kate, Catherine, Vicki, Alison and Emily completed this years amazing team. Thanks so much for all your hard work in a slightly different year!