An actor’s life for me

Playing the nurse in Romeo and Juliet in performance

All teachers are actors, right? We’ve had a theatre company in school today and the whole experience was energising for  me and my students. Above all it made me reflect on how much of a kick I get out of acting and of working with a group of friends and strangers who become friends on a creative project. There’s fun and camaraderie to be had, skills to develop and a sense of a achievement in putting on a performance which brings joy to so many people. I even enjoy the inevitable stresses which come with working under pressure.

and in rehearsal

As my students (and my own children) approach the final leg of exam courses it seems vital to me that they continue to pursue creative and sporting endeavours alongside their studies. Balance is all for a healthy and fulfilling life.



Thoughts of summer.

Astrid Bishop brilliantly operating our awesome puppet dog Sammy with Douglas Bessant as Willie Beech

There’s never enough time to fit in much in the way of theatrical productions in the first term of the school year; but round about now it’s time to start thinking of next summer’s large-scale production at the 14th century Tithe Barn in the middle of town. It’s my way of escaping the greyness of January – along with preparing to sow seeds when the weather warms up and the odd jug of indoor bulbs like these crocuses. 

The first week of my school holidays last summer was production week for ‘Goodnight Mister Tom’, one of my favourite stories and a project that has been part of my life for a long-time as I waited for the script to be written, published and available for license. We played to packed and appreciative houses over five nights in the Tithe Barn in the midst of a heatwave.

It was a huge team effort, as indeed is every Bradfordians’ production and a great way to begin the summer holidays.

This week we heard that we have been nominated for two more awards for local theatre – best Dramatic Production and Best Company Crafted Production, which delights me no end because it rewards every single person involved in the show – and this truly was an ensemble piece.

A bit of drama is good for you, a real hygge experience, as I’ve written before. And so I was overjoyed when the script for this year’s production Tess of the Durbevilles landed in my in box for perusal, prior to auditions in March. It has the director Phil Courage’s signature jaw-droppingly visually powerful final scene and I for one can’t wait to get involved.

While living in the moment is to be recommended above all else, having something to look forward to is good too.


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