Posted in blog, schools

Side lines

Hello all. Some of you may already know this, in which case you can skip to the next paragraph. For those that don’t, I’ve been doing a bit of moonlighting on the side.

moonlightingNo, not that kind, you silly people (showing my age…). I mean, I have been working with our wonderful Brentwood Theatre. I am very keen, as are they, to involve schools with the theatre. We’re so lucky to have one right in the heart of town, but it saddens me that many schools only visit for the Christmas show. Having said that, it’s Roald Dahl’s ‘Danny the Champion of the World’ this year, so get your tickets quick before they sell out! The Christmas show is always a treat – the perfect gift in my opinion (apart from books of course).

I digress – no surprises there. Where was I going with this ramble? Yes, that’s it. So, last half term, I ran a day of workshops, based upon ‘The Jabberwocky’ (for Key Stage 2) and ‘Meg and Mog’ (for Key Stage 1). The children took part in an interactive story-telling session, before getting creative in their writing. The Key Stage 2 pupils wrote acrostic poems based upon the Jabberwocky or letters home, as if they were that brave soul hunting the ‘manxome foe’, whilst our younger visitors created spells for Mog, placing ingredients and spooky ideas into cauldrons.

Here are some pupils from Hogarth in action:


And just yesterday, another series of workshops took place, this time for secondary schools. Throughout the day, we were visited by students from Brentwood School, Brentwood County High School and Shenfield High School. They tackled Macbeth, or ‘The Scottish Play’ for those more superstitious amongst you.

I chose Shakespeare because I wanted to eliminate the myth that Shakespeare is hard. And I chose Macbeth, selfishly, because it’s my favourite, but also because there’s so much that you can do with it, even if you start off not being overly familiar with the plot. We worked hard on dramatic emphasis to convey emotion, helping the audience to connect with often ‘tricky’ vocabulary. The students all did a fine job I must say. Do you want to see them in action?


Letters were then written, from the rather blood-thirsty Lady Macbeth to her husband, with strict instructions on how to fulfil the sisters’ prophecy.

So, that’s what I’ve been up to, apart from everything that’s been going on here.

If you’re interested in workshops at the theatre, why not get in touch? 01277 230068/


The independent children's bookshop and tuition centre in the heart of Brentwood, Essex. Owned and run by Mr Frog & Mrs Chicken (happily married book-nerds), with the sole aim of bringing high quality books and tuition to our community.