I work as Production Officer at Norfolk & Norwich Festival. As Production Officer, I help to plan and deliver the Festival every year, with the Production & Programme team. I have been an avid theatregoer since I saw my first production (The Owl and the Pussycat at Norwich Maddermarket Theatre) at the ripe age of four and I also studied Drama at the University of Bristol.
My top picks for theatre & performance resources are…
1. Stage Shows Online!
Although a hard time for many arts organizations, it’s really exciting that acclaimed productions from theatres up and down the country are being made available to watch from the comfort of your own home – for FREE! This list from whatsonstage.com is updated regularly and includes a great variety of performance. My favourites include: Mind the Gap and Walk the Plank’s outdoor production of ZARA. ZARA tells the story of a woman with a learning disability trying to protect her baby, and features a mechanical moving ‘baby’ larger than a double decker bus. I also love Emma Rice’s riotous adaptation of Angela Carter’s novel Wise Children about performing twins Nora and Dora. Dive into the list and see what you takes your fancy!
2. ‘Sing, Dance, Exercise and Perform’ with The Garage, Norwich
Based in the heart of Norwich, The Garage is a brilliant youth arts organization and theatre. The Garage has been uploading inspiring content on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube to try at home, from dance to theatre, music to story-telling. Why not learn to tap-dance? Check it out here. Or exercise those vocal cords with short voice exercises suitable for the whole family.
3. Norwich Puppet Theatre – online
Another Norwich institution… The Puppet Theatre has some brilliant online resources at their Online Norwich Puppet Theatre. Try to keep up with the rapid speeds needed for a puppeteer, learn how to make shadow puppets from household items with Luminous Tales company or craft a puppet theatre for the perfect performance. Once the Theatre has been made, you could create a fish puppet or a spring chicken… These activities are fun, calming and are sure to keep you occupied for hours.
4. Little Angel Theatre
For further puppet-based entertainment (and let’s face it, can there ever be too much?!) Little Angel Theatre has free resources, helping you make your own puppet. They have a sustainable guide to starting a crafting collection and you can learn how to repurpose an egg box back into a Chicken puppet. The puppet crafting guides are recommended for KS1 Children. Little Angel Theatre also have a great selection of online readings and performances.
5. Royal Court and BBC Bitesize for GSCE Students
The Royal Court Theatre is one of Britain’s leading ‘new writing’ theatres, at the forefront of exciting new work and has launched the careers of many notable playwrights. The theatre has teamed up with BBC Bitesize and key industry professionals to compile a brilliant set of video resources for GSCE Drama students. The resources cover a wide range of practical topics, including devising, scripted performance and light and sound design. Recent performances from the Royal Court are used as case studies, including the Olivier nominated ‘seven methods of killing kylie jenner’ by Jasmine Lee-Jones. I wish this had been around when I was studying Drama at school!
By Ailsa McKay