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Our Talent Sharing 12 July 2016

This week was an exciting one as we performed our talent sharing showcase. Each participant had chosen a talent or skill at the beginning of the block, worked on it and shaped it into a piece and on Tuesday shared it with their peers, family, friends and the Kensal House and SPID Theatre Community. Everyone shared their work in someway, whether they performed their own or had a peer perform the work they wrote. It was brilliant to see all the hard work over the last 10 weeks come to fruition. We also had our resident artists in to showcase their work and talk a little bit about how they felt running their workshops. The rapport between the residents and participants was great to see. Each participant performed a monologue or poem that they had written or compiled themselves. They all took great pride in their work and everyone seemed to have a good time. We announced a new Jack Petchey winner, Tia who will choose our next fun activity. There were some light refreshments afterwards to celebrate the achievements of the young people.

All in all, it was a really great session. Sad to see it come to a close, but we will be back in August for our Summer in the City workshops creating a radio play. We’ll also be back in the fall with more weekly workshops. Please check our website for more details and continue to check this blog for more creative happenings from Far Far Away at SPID Theatre Company!

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Dress Rehearsal 5th July 2016


It’s exciting that we only have one week left until our talent showing! This week saw us busy at rehearsing our pieces, giving feedback to one another, composing a show order and adding in our local residents and their talents amongst our own performances. We started some warm ups with our facilitator Louise and then told her a bit about what was going on with our pieces as we handed them out for one last look through. Our local resident artists, Mark, Albie and Anita joined us for a small rehearsal. We planned a warm-up game of ‘Bibbity Bibbity Bop,’ which all the young people absolutely love! Having composed a running order prior to the workshop, we went through the show piece by piece and practised getting up to the stage, performing our piece, and returning to our spots, with presentations from our residents about their work and their experience working with us sprinkled throughout the show. We then gave feedback to the residents and them to us, and then let them go for the day. They will be back next week for the official showing. We then broke off into our pairs to work for a bit and Louise bounced between groups, helping to shape the staging of each piece and offer encouragement and advice. We have an extra rehearsal this week for anyone who feels they need it. Other than that, the show goes up next week! Stay tuned for more details and pictures from our final talent showing next week on Tuesday at 6pm! Hope to see you there!


Adding the Finishing Touches to our Performance  28th June 2016

This week saw us back at work on our individual presentations. We began with a few drama exercises to get us thinking creatively and warming up our bodies and voices. We did some of these exercises in pairs, responding creatively to what our partner did. We then worked on our pieces in these same pairs, each person watching their partner and giving feedback.  Working in pairs got the young people used to performing their talent to someone to prepare for performing them to a larger audience.They were very good in giving feedback about what they enjoyed and what could be done differently. This was also the last week lines and dramatic elements could be added to the actual pieces of writing. At the end, we all came together performed the pieces all at the same time, practicing our projection and action. Exciting moments on the horizon as we put the whole show together and begin our dress rehearsals with the local residents’ pieces as well. Keeping watching our Facebook and blog on our website for more details!

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Face Painting & Stage Makeup: Looking at Animal Characters: 21st June 2016


We had an exciting session for Far, Far Away on Tuesday! One of our local residents, Anita, is an avid face painter, cake decorator and dabbles in makeup techniques. She came on Tuesday to do a workshop with our participants on face painting techniques. The theme for the session was animals. Each participant was given a partner and a group of animal pictures to choose from. Each got a chance to paint their partner’s face in the likeness of an animal of their choosing. The young people really seemed to enjoy this, finding it fun to play with the paints, mix colours, and getting to see their work come to life. They worked really well with each other, taking care to follow the pictures just right. Our facilitator Anita was there to assist with any tricky bits, but it really got the group to work together. And as you can see, everyone’s animal turned out pretty cool! This work will be displayed at our final showing of the block. Stay tuned for more exciting updates as we are only a few weeks from our talent sharing showcase!


Getting Ready for the Stage! 14th June 2016

This week, we were then back working on our own individual talents towards our showing. We started with some really fun warm ups to get our bodies active, our voices warm and our minds set on what we needed to do. One game in particular everyone really seemed to enjoy. You had to communicate in speaking gibberish and your partner had to tell the rest of the group what you were saying. It was a lesson in impro, thinking on your feet, listening and trusting your scene partner. We had many laughs. We then broke off and worked individually on shaping our pieces, putting in last minute writings and some even started to memorise the pieces. Our facilitator Seda, came around to each participant to work with them individually. Everyone seems to be making great progress. We continue next week with another resident artist and a stage make-up workshop, which is a first for Far, Far Away! Stay tuned!



Drawing & Painting 7th June 2016

This week we had another Kensal House resident artist join us, Albie Espinola. He is local artist who paints portraits and different motorcycles across the country. To give the participants an idea of his work, Albie brought in his motorcycle as inspiration for them to draw from, and even turned it on to rev the engine and show them what it was like. He started by showing them some of his work, how he creates his paintings, and answering any of their questions. He then led them through exercises in drawing the motorcycle without picking up their pencil, adding shading for the light and dark shadows, and then using those to paint from. Albie really tried to get them to work the way he does and challenge them to try drawing that way, which was harder at some points than others. The young people really benefitted from getting to see the motorcycle first hand while drawing in. Some even focused just on a particular part of the motorcycle, like the wheel or the handles, rather than trying to paint the whole thing. As they were working, Albie asked them about their talents and what they were hoping to share in the showing. The participants tried to apply Albie’s same principles of drawing to painting as well. As we were finishing up, Albie let each one sit on his motorcycle and have their photograph taken, and even revved the engine for the parents! We’re back next week, working on shaping our talents for the showing.


What talent will we share? 24th May 2016

Our talent facilitator Seda was back with us this week as we worked on our performing and presenting skills further. The goal was to try and decide what kind of talent the young people wanted to share. Whether it be a monologue, song, poem, dance or even comedic sketch, it had to be something the young people could do individually showcasing a performance skill and connected somehow to the theme of Far, Far Away. The group warmed up with a few drama games, including a favourite called Bippity Bippity Bop. We then talked about the different talents people wanted to share and broke off into smaller groups based upon that. We had a singing group, a monologue and poetry group, and a comedy group. The singing group each went through a bit of a song they wanted to sing. The comedy group crafted some jokes and the monologue and poetry group rehearsed and did some freewriting. For the last few minutes everyone came together and showed a small piece of what they were working on or what they’d like to do. Now that everyone has selected a skill category, we can work in more detail with each on their performance.

We’re off next week for the half term but back on the 7th June with an art workshop with another resident from Kensal House. Stay Tuned!


Creating Poetry 17th May 2016

As part of our Talent Sharing theme for this block, we’ve invited a few of the residents living in and around Kensal House to participate in some of our workshops and share their talents with the young people. We had our first resident visit on Tuesday sharing his talent, writing poetry. Mark Bolton is a local poet, who shared a few of his own poems, and then led the young people in writing and performing their own pieces of poetry. The young people were giving the prompt of ‘What is Far, Far Away to you?’, after hearing a poem Mark also wrote inspired by that theme. After being given the opportunity to write, the participants got up one by one and read their own work aloud, receiving support and suggestions from Mark and the rest of the group. The young people were then given a second opportunity to either edit their first poem or compose a second. Having been inspired by the first poems, some really creative, honest and thought-provoking poems were written by our participants. It was really fun to see how what they imagined came across in written form. Next week, we continue working on performance and presentation skills, and encouraging the young people to start to think about what skill they would like to share and perform.

Far, Far Away

Far, Far away that’s what this place always says to say.

This place is in my heart and this place will never depart.

What this place means to me is something you can’t actually see.

This place is a dream come true

This is not a joke

Through and through.

-Aron, age 11


Now listen up, y’all,
You bullies need to stop making others fall.

Hey you meanies,
Stop treating people like squashed zucchinis.

Now put yourself in the victim’s shoes,
You wouldn’t like it getting a bruise.

You guys make many uncomfortable,
I hope you’ll think twice now y’all.

Now listen up victims,
Stop being unreal like a chicken.

You need to learn to tell more off,
before you people begin to cough.

I really hope you’re now aware,
About people pulling out hair.

And now it’s your turn,
You can now help others stand up and be firm.

So get involved,
Help all bullies no longer evolve.

Stand up for bullying see it stop,
Help others when people get rude a lot.

-Amelie, age 10

Makes me Happy 

My bed
My friends


Make me happy.
My school
My home
My kitchen

Make me happy.
My toys
My drawing
I am happy.

-Jihanne, age 9

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Discovering our talents! 3rd May 2016

We kicked off our new block of workshops today at SPID, with our theme of talent sharing! We started off talking about different forms of presentation. Examples of acting, monologues, singing, commentating and stand-up were given. We then collaborated as two small groups to play games, come up with pictures and shapes using our physicality, and building a story from that. We ended with a freewriting session, composing stories inspired by the activities today around the theme ‘What is Far Far Away for you?’ We’ll continue to explore this question, and how our different talents can work together to answer it throughout this block.

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