Wednesday, 18 June 2008

Return to Ham House

We've been building a brilliant partnership with Ham House over the river in Petersham.

The third year Drama in the Community students wrote, designed, produced and performed a wonderful promenade performance piece for primary schools last month. The audience accompanied the heroine Isis on an epic quest around the grounds in an hour and a half of delightful participatory fun.

As a thank you for creating the show we were all given volunteer passes by Gary, who works for the National Trust as property manager, which means lots of free exploring for a year. He'd really enjoyed the way we'd 're imagined the space,' which is a lovely way of considering our work.

Today Tilly, who played the Kingfisher narrator in the play, and who is keen to develop new projects with the Trust, and I returned to the house to begin putting in place some ideas for next year.

Jorge, the events manager, gave us a brilliant private tour around the state rooms and then Pam and Alan, two of the bonefida volunteers gave us a fascinating look 'backstage' at the servants' quarters.

Alan read some diary entries of Doug Beasley, a junior footman, who came to the house in the 1930's. His stories were fascinating and both of us immediately saw their dramatic potential in situ.

We've also agreed to tell ghost stories in the great hall for six days in the run up to Christmas - which will be a great project for next years third years.

I'm really pleased about this link. It's great to be able to offer students projects in real situations, it brings an additional focus to the work and takes it beyond a scramble for the grade.

No comments: