Friday, 2 November 2012

A LONG HALF TERM

Is it my imagination, or has this recess really spread over three weeks - from the third week in October to the second week in November?
I guess staggering the break helps with traffic flow and it gives us a chance to take a break; that is when we are not busy with children's centres, parties and theatres - not really a break at all.
Anyway, now for the onslaught in the run up to Christmas.
For those of you taken by surprise that it comes at the end of December, we do still have a couple of slots available, but do hurry.
November is looking fairly full, but for those who cannot fit in in December, do try us for this month.
Our most recent production "TIMELINE" is enjoying a good run, and we are conducting a number of Drama Workshops based on excerpts from it. These are particularly attractive in isolation to those suffering budget cuts.
Do take a look at a couple of the photos from it while I pop out to put the kettle on.
I will be back soon,
Albert

Sunday, 2 September 2012

Full steam ahead

Well that's summer pretty well done, such as it was!
I guess I should not complain really as we managed a great couple of weeks touring Europe, including a trip on the Rhine, and meeting some American friends in Tuscany.
We also managed a few bookings to help fill the coffers after such a long break.
In fact, yesterday and today we were booked for afternoon performances of "The Gingerbread Man"at London Zoo. You still have time for today's 2.00 p.m. or 4.30 p.m. shows.
I don't think I told you about Stephie pictured here. I have mentioned in the past that we occasionally take work experience placements. Stephanie Cole was the most recent. She joined us for the first week in July to cheer us up during the miserable weather. And a really fine job she made of it too, bright as a button and always happy and smiling. We were truly sorry to say goodbye, and wish her every success if she pursues her dream as an actress. I will watch out for her name in lights. 
Inset day tomorrow at many schools, so I shall be expecting the phone to "melt"
The desk is cleared and we are ready to fill up the rest of the Autumn term.
Until the next time,
Stay warm,
Albert

Saturday, 28 July 2012

Thursday, 17 May 2012

Did somebody mention Summer?

Another dull day, but a great new idea!
Most of the time our actors hunt for the switch to turn down the heating. School halls are notoriously over heated. But not this Summer. It is more a case of trying to keep warm before the performance starts.
Enough of the complaining. Let me tell you about something new.
Teachers like the children to be involved as much as possible in performances. Schools are very keen on WORKSHOPS, and we deliver many.
Now we are expanding our DRAMA WORKSHOPS to embrace even more of the HISTORY SYLLABUS.
Our new production "TIMELINE" covers the whole period from stone age man to modern times.
As a 75 minute play it is particularly interactive with the children. But, we are also able to use excerpts from it as a basis for DRAMA WORKSHOPS. Simply choose a study period, Saxon, Viking, Tudor, Elizabethan, Georgian, Victorian etc. and we will conduct a DRAMA WORKSHOP based on any one or any combination.
An actor in costume will introduce the period, portraying and highlighting important events.This will be  followed by encouraging and assisting the children in creating and performing their own short pieces based on what they have seen and learnt.
Yet another string to our bow, and one that is proving very popular.
Talk to you again soon,
Albert

Sunday, 11 March 2012

Ruth's Review

Last Friday we had the pleasure of the company of Ruth Stanger, a third year student at St. Mary's University College, Twickenham. Ruth is studying Drama and Applied Theatre and for her dissertation is researching Theatre in Education.

After helping with the get in and setting up she was keen to introduce us to our young audience. And what an introduction it was! Had the kids not been on the floor, she would have had them out of their seats before we even started; they were that excited.

This is what Ruth had to say about the performance:-

"On Friday 9th March I was lucky enough to visit Grove Road Primary School in Hounslow, to view a fantastic performance by Aesop's Touring Theatre Company.

As part of my dissertation research I am visiting schools to watch Theatre in Education shows, and it has to be said that "The Adventures of the Gingerbread Man" was one of the best T.i.E. performances I have seen. The show follows the Gingerbread Man who has run away from his parents, and their lovely house and garden, to find somewhere nicer to live. Along his journey he meets many different animals, and learns all about their homes and how they live. What does the Gingerbread Man do in the end? Well you'll have to wait and see!

The show was fun and lively, with songs and dances that the children could join in with. The kids were so involved and loved every minute of the show. With songs such as "Polly put the Kettle on" and, of course, "You can't catch me I'm the Gingerbread Man" the children are involved with the play from the start.

T.i.E. work is always very participatory, and this show was no different, with children becoming flowers, hedgehogs and trees, to giving advice to the characters about what they should do.

Theatre in Education is so important in educating children about important issues or subjects in a way that captures their interest and imagination, which is exactly what Aesop's Gingerbread Man did. The children were excited and interested, and it was great to see such a lively audience who enjoyed the performance so much.

I thoroughly enjoyed the performance, and it was a pleasure to join Aesop's Touring Theatre Company.

If you're thinking of asking Aesop's to come and visit you, do not hesitate, you won't be disappointed, I promise!"

Thank you Ruth. It was a pleasure meeting you, and I hope we will meet again, perhaps when you are "treading the boards".

Bye readers until next time,

Albert





Friday, 10 February 2012

Well, it had to happen!



Guess what. It's winter and it's snowing. "quelle surprise", as the French might say. Well we are not B.A.A. and we don't close airports.

We are not a local authority and we don't close schools.
Also, we are not overly impressed by the old newsreels and pictures that are run out every winter.

What we do is perform plays and conduct drama workshops whatever the weather.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I just have to dig out the company vehicle and get moving for a 9.30 a.m. performance 80 miles away on the coast.

Some may call it madness.
We call it dedication.
Talk to you again soon......now where did I put that shovel!

Albert







Friday, 20 January 2012

Christmas came and went



While I was "sunning" myself on the beach in Australia the boss, pictured to my left, was left at home to entertain a couple of the grandchildren with her new play "TIMELINE".

I figured I had earned the break after the busiest run up to the year end ever.

Whatever happened to the wallabies, kangaroos and koalas? From Sydney to just below Rockhampton we never saw any. But we did manage to feed a couple of dolphins in Tin Can Bay.

Now it is back to the grindstone in earnest. Spring is our busiest school term so we are hoping the local authorities make an effort to keep the schools open during the snow and icy weather; no more unnecessary closures please. If we can drive from Woking to Birmingham for a 9.15 morning performance we don't want to find the school closed because the path was slippery!. You may think I am joking, or being cynical. Trust me it has happened.

I mentioned our latest production, "TIMELINE". An ambitious new project in which our leader, Karen, enlists the help of the audience on an amazing journey from the stone age to the present day. Still in the "costume and propping" stage this extravaganza will be ready to launch in the Summer term and, judging by the interest already shown, it looks like a winner.

I will keep you informed of its progress, but now back to work on yesterday's bookings, and getting ready for the telephone onslaught as the schools open.

Bye for now,

Yours Albert.