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5 minutes with Lucy Clarke

Work Bard, Play Bard 2017 at the Everyman. Photograph by Brian Roberts.
Work Bard, Play Bard 2017 at the Everyman. Photograph by Brian Roberts.

The LJMU English & Drama student worked with our Learning team to help deliver Work Bard, Play Bard 2017 at the Everyman…

I walked into the Everyman and took a seat on the plush couches, not really knowing what to expect from my interview or indeed the internship. Work Bard Play Bard turned out to be a fabulous and greatly rewarding experience for not only the pupils involved but also for me.

The placement offered up the chance to merge my experience of working with young people and my love for the theatre. When I met Emma Whitley, who was leading the project, I instantly knew this role would be a great fit for me. She created a relaxed and comfortable environment within which I found it very easy to ask all the questions I needed to. We chatted away about my interests and passions over a cup of coffee, tea in my case. After telling me all about the project and the responsibilities I would have, I could only hope I had the opportunity to be involved.

Work Bard, Play Bard 2017 at the Everyman. Photograph by Brian Roberts.
Work Bard, Play Bard 2017 at the Everyman. Photograph by Brian Roberts.

Six schools bound together, in fair Everyman where we lay our scene...

Romeo & Juliet is one of my favourite Shakespeare plays, which made getting the internship all the more exciting! Each school had to devise a performance based around a theme from the play they had been given. The themes were mature and complex. I was pleasantly surprised at how well the children took on board this responsibility and delivered excellent, thought-provoking performances. Through drama and creativity, they were able to educate themselves on topics such as arranged marriage and the effects of crime and punishment. It shows how the arts can be beneficial in helping to educate young people.

Work Bard, Play Bard 2017 at the Everyman. Photograph by Brian Roberts.
Work Bard, Play Bard 2017 at the Everyman. Photograph by Brian Roberts.

A week before the performance, a few of the schools visited the Everyman. This was the first time they would be able to see where they would be performing. It was such a lovely opportunity to meet some of the young performers before the big day. All different ages, each group was dedicated to creating a dynamic and interesting piece of theatre. I really enjoyed getting the chance to improve their pieces and help develop them, giving the schools constructive criticism. The Everyman created a relaxed and friendly environment within which everyone felt comfortable to express their opinions. It was a collective effort from everyone.

Work Bard, Play Bard 2017 at the Everyman. Photograph by Brian Roberts.
Work Bard, Play Bard 2017 at the Everyman. Photograph by Brian Roberts.

Performance day arrived very quickly and we were all in for a long, but very exciting day!

Six schools all together for one big festival. The atmosphere was lively, excited chatter filled the dressing rooms as each school took to the stage to perform. The day was long, however the energy of the young people was extraordinary. They remained in good spirits throughout the day, taking on board any notes from their teachers and running their pieces whenever they had the chance to. There was friendly rivalry between two schools, a Domino’s pizza ordered at one point and a team chant which was a treat for the ears!

Work Bard, Play Bard 2017 at the Everyman. Photograph by Brian Roberts.
Work Bard, Play Bard 2017 at the Everyman. Photograph by Brian Roberts.

I found that no two pieces were the same, not just because they had different themes but because each school approached their subject matter differently. Some pieces were comedic whilst others were more physical without any dialogue. It kept the whole festival engaging to watch.

Work Bard, Play Bard 2017 at the Everyman. Photograph by Brian Roberts.
Work Bard, Play Bard 2017 at the Everyman. Photograph by Brian Roberts.

Overall, the day was a great success, it was lovely to meet the teachers whose dedication and commitment to their schools didn’t go unnoticed, along with all the tech team and stage managers who kept the show running smoothly. A special thanks to Emma who took me under her wing and gave me this great opportunity! I look forward to seeing what next year’s Work Bard, Play Bard has in store.

Work Bard, Play Bard 2017 at the Everyman. Photograph by Brian Roberts.
Work Bard, Play Bard 2017 at the Everyman. Photograph by Brian Roberts.

Words: Lucy Clarke

Posted in LEARNING