It was the busiest of times.
This year alone I have been lucky enough to have worked with 10 different schools in Europe, Asia and America. And then with 14 different Universities across the UK. I have been invited into 6 different writer’s groups all over England. And I have greatly enjoyed delivering 4 masterclasses at ticketed events with participants logging in remotely from across the globe. I cannot be sure of the exact number of students that I have been fortunate enough to work with, but the combination of young people, teachers, lecturers, theatre and film makers and writers of all ages now stretches well into the hundreds. And that’s just in the last 3 months. At one stage in March, I was leading 25 different workshops in 9 days. I could not consider myself more fortunate during these most challenging of times.
The subject areas I have covered have included sessions on narrative structure, character development, writing dialogue, adaptation, getting work in the industry, animation and comedy. I have helped guide Undergraduate and MA students as well as school students of all ages studying theatre or film. I have given teachers new tools to teach creative writing and devising and I have acted as a consultant to three new writers looking to improve their work.
The projects I have been privileged enough to lead in schools have included taking a well-known children's story and helping the DP students transform it into a Covid friendly radio play for 4–7-year-olds at Frankfurt International School. A monologue writing and performance project with Marymount International School, London. A cross arts scriptwriting project with The International School of Älmhult in Sweden. And helping students to storyboard a physical theatre and shadow puppet-based performance at The International School of Lausanne in Switzerland. I was then able to work with the year 9 and 10 theatre students, as well as all IB, DP film students at The Atlanta International School on scriptwriting. As well as running a radio play project at The International School of Geneva and working on monologue writing at the International School of La Châtaigneraie. Most recently I have been working with DP theatre students at Cottonwood Classical Preparatory School Albuquerque on a project to help kickstart their spring production.
Universities I have been asked to work in recently have included Oxford, MMU, Edge Hill, Leeds Trinity, Chester, Staffordshire, Glasgow, Huddersfield, Aberystwyth, Surrey, Leeds Beckett, Worcester, UCLAN, Bolton, Plymouth, Sunderland, SAE, Leeds Arts and Salford.
And I am really looking forward to forthcoming projects at Dulwich College Singapore and The Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama. This is on top of four really exciting writing projects, a return to the world of acting, becoming an external examiner for IB film and leading two modules at two separate Universities. And yes, I am very much aware that I really am very lucky to be so busy.
But I would still love to reach out to more students. The feedback has been fantastic, and I know that anyone, whatever their age, with a love of theatre, film and creative writing has benefited from some narrative structure and character development work in their creative projects. Be it devised performance, filming or script work. So if you are interested in a workshop or project please do not hesitate to get in touch.