20 Apr 2010

Theatre Royal, Plymouth

My occasional work in schools ratcheted up a notch this January, when the Theatre Royal, Plymouth, contracted me to work on several projects:
1. to lead the youth Theatre 'Young Company' writing group for ten weekly sessions, with a focus on performance poetry/ monologues for performance;
2. to work in two schools - Goosewell Primary and Hyde Park Junior School - for 8 or 10 weekly sessions on the Theatre's 'School Ties' project - writing and completing to performance standard, play-scripts with yr 5 children;
3. and some single sessions with other education or community projects. I can, and will, write more about each of these in forthcoming blogs.

It's just like that saying we have about buses: wait for hours and not a thing, then three come along at once. So after a quiet-ish autumn (a few private clients wanting text; a couple of jobs in schools)I was suddenly looking at full-time work, overall; planning and evaluating sessions at home, writing up the children's work into scripts, commuting to Plymouth most days, in a car with no heating and some dramatic snowy intervals. Juggling this with WEA courses, other occasional work commitments, family, studying...

Snow & ice can be especially annoying in rural areas; the main roads are gritted but the smaller roads are often not. It can be that a longer journey cannot be made because half a mile of small-town lanes have not been gritted. So, poet on the bus, walking the distance from Plymouth City Centre to Theatre Royal's TR2 building on its Cattedown outskirts; two pairs of gloves and a multitude of layers and sturdy boots striding out. I had to treat myself to some new ones, of course.

I loved it. Sometimes it is quite an enjoyable thing to suffer for one's art.

Image: courtesy of Theatre Royal, Plymouth.