Blog Continued

Wednesday 17th July- Final show Night!

We were back in our original space which was steaming hot and already set up with tiered seating and VIV hoorah!!!! Sister Berry had come to the rescue and had given Viv the set of wheels she needed for this evening and we were glad to have her back :) we had a vocal warm up (we were already rather warm physically) and got the set ready for the CT1's performance. Once the audience had seated (and bought their raffle tickets) we were ready to get underway! As Rachel was visiting her University today, Sally stepped in as the friendly ghost! The performance went even better than yesterdays, perhaps this had something to do with the run through yesterday or even the fact that we were back in the space we were used to, either way it was spot on and energetic despite the heat! CT2's then got up for their final performance of the Food show, which also ran smoothly. I was DRIPPING with sweat by the end of the performance but everyone else seemed in good spirits! We had Rose back along side Jordan as the presenters which was Fab! (no offense Nick) and although we were still a few other members down from yesterday, we carried straight on and adapted like true professionals! We then had the interval which involved COLD drinks (wahoo) home made cakes and hot dogs, and not to mention more raffle ticket buying! After a quick toilet run, we read out the winners and then the YT's got ready for their performances. We went for the same routine as yesterday. We were lucky to have Niamh back in her role!! Tasmin could relax this time! haha! The sound also seemed so much better in this space which was great, the singing was louder and the lines more defined which helped with the impact of the pieces. Jo was too excited to wait and be in the last performance with myself, so she got up a couple of times to get involved in Hannah and Fiona's performance which was received in good spirit and just proves the welcoming and adaptable nature we have at Shed@thePark. When the performances were over, we had a thank you speech and a farewell to the wonderful Hannah Greenacre as she embarks on her journey to University! There were many tears and Hannah had to put a smile on her face before we had everyone in tears!!! We presented our lovely Gerry with the collage we had prepared for him over the last few weeks, which was put together thoughtfully by our, Sal :) After a swift clear up of the hall the mentors and artistic team were invited back to Sarah Blackman's house for a drink and wind down after this very hectic and exciting term! We took the bucket of COLD beer and Hannah and I went on a trek for noodles and prawn crackers, and we spent the evening catching up on everything we have achieved with our fabulous members this term. Hannah has been so inspired by growing up with Shed, from being a member herself, to youth support, to mentor she is going onto to University of Lancaster to further all the work, skill and knowledge she has gained here. She has taught me an awful lot too! Rachel has been inspired by the artistic and creative side of Shed and is going on to study at University, and we do so hope that she will be able to come back and share with us and the members what she has learnt and pass on her skills! I have actually also been greatly inspired. And at the age of 23, I have got myself into Bucks New University to study Psychology. Baring in mine I did not do my A Levels, and do not have any UCAS points, I am proud to say I have got in purely on a good personal statement about all i do and have learnt at Shed@ThePark and how it has inspired me to push myself and make a change. If you are thinking of becoming a mentor, just do it! Not only will it be good for your UCAS form, it is also incredibly rewarding, educational, joyful, fun and it will become an absolute pleasure to commit to. Our members teach us as much as we teach them, and I believe the life changing experience is completely mutual. SO!! Here is to a fantastically hectic term, and a lovely rest until the next one :) If you want to come and join us and see what we are all about, get in touch with us!!!! Read over more of this blog if you haven't already, and learn a bit more. See you again in 6 weeks with more updates on Shed and also... what ever happened to Viv's car???


Tuesday 16th July - Show time!

After getting permission to leave work at 4pm to ensure I was dressed and ready in the CHA hall by 4.45, we were in the hall preparing our set ready for the performances whilst poor Viv's car blew up on the motorway! uh oh! We made sure all the members were at the front for easy access to the stage (which was in fact a good amount of space on the floor in front of the stage which worked rather well). Whilst parents chatted and caught up outside, we ran through a quick rehearsal of songs and dances, did the toilet runs and got our selves sat down and let the audience in... by this time... Viv was still stuck on the motorway with a blown up car! Sally took the drivers seat and gave an introductory speech at the beginning (which she just LOVES to do) explaining how all the work our audience were about to see was solely the ideas and creation of our members. She also read out a lovely text from Viv (still on the motorway) saying thank you for everyone who came and also notifying all of us about the charity event at the Drawing rooms on Saturday 27th July and also the Sponsored walk on 21st September! (plug plug plug!) and then we were under way. The CT1's got up on stage and performed their lovely play about a visit to an Aunt's house that uncovers a magical toy box and a friendly ghost! This is the first time the CT2's and the YT's have seen this performance as well as the parents and they were all engrossed and had faces like the Cheshire cat, well done CT1's! It was now time for CT2's and our Food themed performance! Once we got our bearings and Sal was up getting the lights and booms and cameras ready for the show to start, we were off! As one of our presenters couldn't make it today, Nick stepped in (he was alright, but not as good as you Rose :-P) along side Jordon who warmed up the audience nicely. Everyone remembered their words and dance moves, passions ran high in the competition and the audience participated went rather well in the Food Rap at the end of the show! Well done CT2's!! We had a brief interval, Sainsbury's had come up to visit and donated food and drink which was fab and some of the staff were able to stay and enjoy the performances! THANK YOU! Viv... was still stuck on the motorway with her blown up vehicle. :( Time for the YT's! Now as i mentioned before, some of our members were also in the Dance show that was happening in our usual space at the same time, so we had to arrange the performances as such that our members could whizz out to the other show in time! So we started with 'Think' which threw us into a different genre with loud music and interpretive dance moves. This was the performance to do with addiction, and it was engrossing! Again the CT2's and CT1's had not yet seen the YT's perform this and they were completely glued. The matters that were dealt with in this performance were gritty and perhaps a surprised to the parents?? But all was dealt with dedication and respect which made the performance meaningful and passionate and very mature. Well done all! The next show was Me Vs Life... and unfortunately not only was Viv STILL on the motorway with her blown up car, Niamh was also stuck on a broken down train, so at the very last minute our wonderful Tasmin was dragged on to the stage, had a script shoved in her hand ready to play one of the leading characters... for the first time... in front of an audience. THAT is dedication! It went really well, the songs, the music the timing, it was a fantastic example of showmanship, well done team! Yet again another example of teenage angst and the troubles and emotions that can be felt through school life, with an interesting insight into the other side of events. Food for thought! Lastly was my group 'Overloaded'. We had all our members and were all a little sweaty and over excited to get on and do it! It all went smoothly again with only one line stumbled upon which lead to me being told to 'stop picking my nose' which was actually a better development of the script we might say, and got huge laughs at my expense! Thanks Zac, we will always love your impeccable timing! With another touchy subject about secrets and the struggles they can cause to keep, it was a testament to our members that our audience were just as interested and committed to watching what they had to tell, as they had been for the last 45 minutes throughout the other performances, well done! It all seemed to go very quickly, and it was over before we knew it! I think we are all happy we get to do it again tomorrow! After bows, and applause our members got stuck in with the donated sandwiches and were whisked off home to rest ready for tomorrow! We had a lot of praise and a GOODBYE to Rachel who won't be able to join us tomorrow! ... she will be back! And Viv... poor Viv... was STILL on the motor way until about 10.30 that night. RIP blown-up car.  

Tuesday 9th July

YT's End of term rehearsals!

Another hot evening and we congregated in the performing arts studio at CHA for some more rehearsals! We had a relatively good turn out and were able to teach what we had choreographed and developed to the members that weren't there last week. For my group who's play is called 'Overloaded' we went over the song sung by India to put some definite actions to certain words that could be performed by the other cast members sat at the back of the scene. The two members who are involved in the song also developed some dance choreography for the end of the song which was contemporary and mirrored the emotions we are trying to portray throughout our production. I had to leave early (not before a cup of tea of course! (and also not before Viv saved my life and my bladder from a bunch scary spiders in the toilet!), and left all the youth theatre members working hard at brushing up their pieces and adding in parts where needed. As there is a dance show on at the same time as our end of term performances, we will actually be doing Tuesday's performance in the main hall which we have not yet rehearsed in, and also some of our members are actually in the dance show!!! So we are doing some major shuffling and organisation to make sure they are able to do both. Our members are in high demand, such a talented bunch! 


Wednesday 10th July

CT2's

Yet again, we got stuck straight in! We managed to get into the main hall for the first 20mins of our rehearsal and run through the whole thing so the members would know what to expect next week. once we figured out where the audience was (or I figured it out to be precise... i found myself facing in completely the wrong direction!) We got Ciaran to practice instructing the audience to join in with our finale song, actions and all. We knew this was going to be spot on from the start, what can I say? CT2's got it covered!!!! We then went back to our other space and did some more rehearsal and development with instruments to add another layer to the Mrs Pizzeria section. We also had a toilet stop and Florence amazed everyone by walking all the way back from the toilet with myself and Hannah instead of going back into her wheelchair straight away. Her physio has really built up her strength clever girl!

YT's

Yes. It was hot and sweaty again today! And we got stuck straight in! We split straight into our three groups 'innovate', 'inspire' and 'involve' and ran through our pieces from start to finish as many times as we could before taking the time to watch others performances and give feed back. Nick and Sally have worked hard on getting the soundscapes for each piece just right and the timing was perfect for all three performances which is great stuff! We have also secretly been preparing little messages to both Rachel and Hannah ready for a little collage as their leaving presents. We really are going to miss them lots, we really hope we get some fab new mentors to come and get involved with us! (and we are positive we will be roping both Hannah and Rachel back in whenever they are back from Uni!) After a good old run through and some feedback, that was it. No more rehearsals and 1 week until the end of term shows!! EEKK!


Wednesday 3rd July

CT2's

After practicing our Food Rap (honestly parents, you are going to love this!) We gathered together to run our piece from start to finish. We are fully aware that we have far too much material due to our fabulously enthusiastic members and will need to cut it down quite a lot! So we started with 'preparing the set' into the 'food rap' into the 'Strictly Come Dining' with our fantastic presenters comedy sketch and dance routines. We then go back in to our 'preparing the set' section to get ready for 'Mrs Pizzeria' or FANTASTIC fictional character created by one of our members. Now, this section was involving some of us and contestants in a show, but to cut down time (and as we have also all come off from performing already) we have decided to make this into a monologue, solo performance. And it works really well! Mrs. Pizzeria worked with Viv to write a short script which she will have learnt for next week and it really is very funny! We then went in to our last act which was the 'Musical kitchen show' - think QVC mixed with Saturday Morning Kitchen! VERY FUNNY! And lastly back to the Rap (with audience participation?????) to end the show! We are so well prepared it is SCARY! 

YT's 

We started the workshop with a movement game to do with spatial awareness... which was unsurprisingly chaotic but good fun! :-) we then split straight into our groups to run our pieces. Now after yesterday we knew that we really needed to work on the movement for section 4, but wouldn't be able to get time with Sally until the second part of the workshop. So we used this time to run through the scripted section a few times. The member that plays 'Mum' has been unable to attend for the last few sessions and we are unsure if she can make it for the performances, so I now have the task of learning her lines for next week just in case! EEEK! (Thought I had got away with that one hehe!) We know this part like the back of our hand so we were eager to get hold of Sally! HELP US! During the second half we completely re-choreographed section 4. The cast in our show have come and gone and swapped around since we first worked on this part so we decided to scrap it and work with who we have and create something new. This went so well! I would even say it looks a bit better! Now after all the dancing yesterday, myself and Jo were quite tired ( we blame JLS) so we struggled with our energy in the last part to keep going, and Jo even performed a very dramatic 'death' in the middle of it which replicated exactly how most of us felt by the end of it!! Haha! Only 2 more rehearsals before show time so we have to get it right! I even have to let my Tea go cold... NOOOOO!!!! So, there we have it, a hard core rehearsal day and hopefully 2 more of those next week! Everyone seemed so focused it is quite inspiring... and tiring haha!


Tuesday 2nd July

So for the rest of the term YT's will be needed on Tuesday Evenings as well as rehearsals for our end of term show in just 2 weeks! Unfortunately... not all of them seem to remember this so we had a rather poor turn out! In my group 'innovate' we had our leading lady, which was great, and we also had our two important teachers which was also fab! We already have our scripts printed and ready for section three, but what we really needed to do, was concentrate on section 4 and 5, our last dance performance and mash up! As there were not many of us for this, we decided to look over all the notes we had made and re-write a clear plan from section 1-5 of what we were doing, what we needed in terms of sound and when. I say WE when in actual fact it was our leading lady who did most of it! She really has proved her organisational skills and talent when it comes to script and song writing! Very well done to her. As our other member Jo find sit down, head down work a little boring, myself and Jamie went outside with her to dance to my JLS album for about 20 minutes! Jamie LOVED it! And Jo found it hilarious! HAHA! Although the progress we made today seemed small, it really has allowed us to plan our next 3 sessions clearly and enable us to see what needs working on and which bit's we need to add. Very good going!


MAD about Waddesdon - Sunday 30th June

Knowing our performance of 'The boy who wanted to fly' was at 4.40 pm and our meeting time was 4pm, meant we mentors (and probably parents) had time to nurse any sore heads and rejuvenate from any Saturday night antics before meeting up! Some got there early to enjoy some of the Dance, Music, Drama and other performance pieces (along with the Candy Floss stall!). The sun was shining brilliantly and I had managed to rope a friend in to join us in the performance and lend a pair of extra hands! The performances were running slightly late, and we arrived to find that Viv could not come as she has had a poorly foot for a while now and it was too sore for her to come all this way! And also a few extra members that we had not expected would come! BUT did we fear? NOOOOOO! We knew that our members would be fine to improvise and are used to being thrown into action in workshops, so this was easy as pie for them... and therefore, a doddle for us! When we got back stage (which was simply the gravel between the stages and the Manor house) we were able to have a quick practice with the Parachute, whack on some sun cream, and warm up our voices! We got the heads up from the Stage Manager that we could go on and set up on the main stage whilst the side stage performance went on. Now, like last year, the stage is on 2 levels which means we have to consider our wheelchair users and the amount of space we had. We realized that the size of the lower, flat level was much smaller in proportion the parachute than we are used to, and when we move with the parachute, it would be too difficult to get all our members up and down the level easily. We quickly got all our 'parachute people' on stage to practice performing with the parachute in an Oval shape rather than at full capacity and it turned out that it actually looked and worked okay! And as we were much higher than the audience, it gave the illusion that it was a full circle and was not noticeable! So that was brilliant! Problem solved, our material was set, our extra members had parts to play, and everyone was on good form! We were the second to last performance but we still had a good audience even they stage managers seemed engrossed in our performance. I think offering something different and more visually pleasing was a great move as there were so many other dance performances with a similar lay out. GO TEAM SHED!!! There was only one mistake with the parachute which was not noticeable to the audience where were slightly out of time with the music as it took us a little longer to get set with the parachute, but all in all everyone put in so much effort, and should be really pleased with themselves! Our leading man really put his all into it as well, and now we know just how far he can be pushed with his performance... we will certainly be using more of it!! All the members met up with their family members and friends and the mentors gather on the grass with some beer! SO disappointing the ice cream stall had already closed! BOO! We had a lounge in the sun and decided that a Mentor trip to Pho Mac's was most certainly in order after today! So off we went, packed into 2 cars off to Pho Mac's were myself, Hannah, Sally, Katie, Matt, Nick and Fiona devoured copious amounts of Vietnamese and Chinese food... along with a dash or two of Vino and beer! Perfect way to end our last Weekend performance of the summer! It has been such a busy time but totally rewarding and enjoyable. Now to concentrate on the end of term shows....


Saturday 22nd June

BURYfield’s festival

On Wednesday after our debrief, it was somehow agreed to walk through the park to BURYfield’s with 4 enormously long flags on Saturday morning. So at 9.45am this was me. Walking in the rain, through a park trying not to poke out the eyes of passers-by, and also helping someone find their run away dog on the way! I went the wrong way twice, ending up at a Scout Hut and also a Church before finally making to the Bury and then to our stall! There were only four of us at that time so we set out to put the gazebo up and set up the information. I dashed into town to get some cash (knowing full well that after my volunteer shift was over I would be straight off to Pho Mac's stall for some Vietnamese food!) and I bumped into Jamie who had a massive Bacon and Egg sandwich. So I had to get one too!

We both trundled up to the HQ for volunteers and donned our florescent yellow 'Steward' waistcoats and adopted our role of 'milling around' which was GREAT! We got to see performances, tell everyone all about Shed and give information out, enjoy the rain AND the sun! And for the last hour we were on the front desk signing people in and giving people wrist bands.

Come 3.30 our shift was over and it was NOODLE TIME!!! I was straight off to Pho Macs to get my noodles and chicken! My mum and brother had come back to help on the stall and we spent the next 3 hours enticing people to our stall to play our 'spin for a win' game, and singing lots of songs with Nick and his guitar and some of our members who stuck around for the whole day! We also took turns donning the rather frightening Shed Monster Head and Hands!! I scared a few children unfortunately, but most people found it hilarious and even had pictures with it!

We all worked really hard and it paid off, so many people were showing their interest in Shed and it was lovely to see that so many people had already heard of us as well! This means all the hard work is working :) I can't wait to hear how much money we raised! It was a great event and I would definitely get involved next year! Two ladies from Sainsbury's also came to have a picture with us and hand us the cheque for £500! GO TEAM SHED! Well done to Viv, Sal, Fiona, Nick, Christine, Irene, Jayne, Jamie, Hannah, Terri, Tom, Katy, Phoebe, Jordan and Rebecca :)


Wednesday 19th June

CT2's

We led with a new game invented by nick called 'I love everyone, especially people who like ---’ which was a game that needed imagination and energy! It was a good boost to start our members working together and listening to each other before we started the session. We were a bit low on members today which made it quite difficult to achieve what we wanted to achieve which was to complete 2 of the 3 sections of our end of term performance.

The first section being our 'Strictly come dine with me' with dance routines and the comedy sketch, and the second section being 'Mrs Pizzerias Cooking Show' which is a rather imaginative pizza baking competition with a hilariously elaborate host! We did quite well considering we didn't have many members, but we will have lots to teach them next week!

YT's

It was quite hot and stuffy today and our members were quite tired from the rehearsals the night before. But being the brilliant mentor that I am (Is that my trumpet being blown?) I had typed up the scripts for my group so we had something solid to work on and a good structure! For the first time since we were coming up with our concepts 'Innovate' spent this workshop with Viv who was able to take a good look at what we had done and give us some useful direction, right up to section 4 out of 5.

In the last half of the work shop... we made a cup of tea! AND more importantly for the first time this term we watched each other’s performances! They were brilliant! It is amazing to see what each group has come up with and how they are using acting, sound, movement and music to demonstrate it and enhance the narrative of their stories. All three performances are quite gritty and look at addiction, pressure in school and secrets. I think our audience are going to be gripped at the end of term!