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Just for fun – About Shakespeare Week (en Français)



Folk tales and gigs Meetup – Brew Dog, Birmingham

meetup imagesI had 5 people at my Meetup! Record! We went to BrewDog and heard Green Man Rising, amongst others. The variety of real ale they have is great. Some of the ale is 18% which is mental. but they put it in 25ml glasses so not so bad! The illustrations on the walls are really funky. There is a secret place under the stairs, ok not so secret, but comfy hidden-away leather sofas for a good old chat. Nice.

DSC_0651The girls’ toilets evidently have to be more intellectual than the boys’ toilets’ “A history of beer” (a source told me about the history of beer. Promise I didn’t venture in!


Scouts – Entertainer Badge Night

scout logopic

Make your own Puppet theatre

I ran this night and I was really pleased at how successful it was! There were some really creative ideas from the Scouts. The Scouts wrote a Stage Management list for backstage. One even had a lighting rig, a headtorch and crepe paper for a gel (to make a coloured light).

– I’ll add the info about Pepper’s ghost, which I got off the internet and tried but didn’t work. I think I’ll have to put some more thought into how it works practically. Any comments on how to do that would be great because I think our Scouts would’ve loved it! Link: PEPPER and Dirck’s ghost

Here is my plan!

Basic ingredients: Tables, shoe/wine boxes or big bike boxes (Sainsbury’s/Cult Cycles are very obliging with boxes!), cardboard, bits and bobs (bells, material, string) coloured paper, sellotape, headtorches, crepe paper, pritt stick, eggboxes, chalks, paints, possibly a CD player and classical music (The Planets has a good range of scary, love, war etc. or Now 70, whatever works for your Scouts!)

Timing: We didn’t do a game in the two hours so we just stuck to this activity and tidying up. You could probably fit in a short game of Cat and Mouse/Tig, though depending on how messy it gets!

Leader numbers: 2

1: (5 mins) Scouts get out the tables

2: (15 mins) We sat and chatted about Theatres and I showed them pictures of local theatres, exciting sets and asked if they’d been to a panto/play. We discussed their favourite sets (Had to say what a “set” was) and plays

Scouts – Plays and puppet theatre 2003 – This link is to a file with pictures of plays like:

Robin Hood in the RSC Main Theatre: A massive tree was hung from the rig, they had a 50 foot grass-covered slide on stage and flying characters.

Doctor Faustus at The Globe: I showed images of monsters from Doctor Faustus where actors come from Hell (using a trapdoor under the stage).

3: (5 mins) Explain the task: “Work in groups of 5 to make your own Puppet theatre (very clear Youtube video of how to do this with a shoebox!), puppets and stories. You have massive cardboard boxes so think what you want to do with them before you cut them up. Everyone needs a job so one person can write a scene of a story, one person does props, etc.” (Our Scouts decided to make flyers to advertise and used a sponsor) Best one gets haribos. I used a scorechart to make it professional 😉 (scores based on teamwork, sets, originality, story etc.-could do a clap-o-meter or raise of hands if there are lots of groups.)

4: (40 mins) Leave them to it and offer help/ideas if needed.

5: (10 minutes) “Start your tech and dress rehearsals! 10 minutes left!”

6: (10 minutes) We all sat together and watched the shows. We only had two groups so it was short. You may need to adjust for more groups.

So now they can get their Entertainer Badge! Yay.

An idea for next time 🙂 Shadow Puppet Theatre

Extra Curricular Fun, you say?!

I thought I’d just write a short post to say why I think these posts are at all relevant to my Research in Practice.

Firstly, I think organising any events and being part of fundraising or gaining experience as a volunteer demonstrate what sort of person I am and give a well-rounded idea of what I do. If I want to write about my Research in Practice then it’s good for people to get a feel of why these things interest me.

I suppose it’s also gratuitous.

Ok, reflecting on what I’ve just written I’ve probably just lied. I like writing about the things I do because they are important to me. I blog for Mary Arden’s because I think it’s worth going to see it and I want people to experience the fun I have there and I want it to do well as a place. I like to share my Meet Up Group because I only have 9 people so far but I am really happy about it because it is something which I started and which brings people together who I can socialize with and go to gigs with which makes me happy. Bringing people together is a great feeling and I like that. I guess that’s why Arts Management attracted my interest. I’m always trying to organise people to do fun things. The Arts gives me the chance to do that for a day job!

Reviewing new venues is a way for me to encourage my brain to remember great places I went to and what gigs I saw. It’s good practice for writing copy too. I like writing newsletters and things. I won an award when I was younger, The W H Smith Young Writer’s Award ’95, and I think I owe it to little Alex to keep it up.

W H Smith Young Writer's Award Publication
W H Smith Young Writer’s Award Publication

It’s part of who I am. So that’s why I have, “Extra-curricular fun,” which I suppose, will be, “Professional experience,” when I graduate from my Masters course and have to write a CV of what I have actually done to suggest I would be good in an Arts and Project Management job!

Alex out.



I noted some ideas down that I am going to share at the BIAD final show meeting. A fundraising event has already been organised for the day of the meeting. A bake sale.

I want us to do some fundraising that will engage people with art and socialising. Art walks or workshops would be something simple we could do as linked events to the final show. We could brand them as well. We are discussing the title etc. next week which should be good.

I saw the start of a fundraising event for New Writers at Ort and if we could do some sort of Artist talk there we might get a good crowd. I might email the people who ran that event and ask about their planning.

My kind of Art

I left a tutorial at the fancypants uni building that is Parkside@BCU. I say it’s fancypants but the real attraction was a luscious expanse of lawn and the buzz of happy students playing football and skateboarding in the sunshine.

I was curious about a small, free Thinktank garden there. From afar it just looked fun. There was a giant marble run! I saw a kid having a go and I thought, “I want to play!” For about 25 minutes I was engaged with playing with the machines and discovering what they did. This random child took it upon himself to instruct me on how to use the equipment. It was all water and dynamos (not sure on the spelling of that one tbh).

Balancing balls @BCU
Balancing balls @BCU

Marble run @BCU
Marble run @BCU

A group of students were using the water-squirter to splash passers-by so I was deliriously happy when I left the garden to walk past where they had been squirting and I walked just out of range. I did what any self-respecting child would do: stuck my tongue out at them and flapped my hands at the sides my head and jumped about *insert evil laugh here*

The sun does make the day shine brighter 🙂