Friday, 23 October 2009

Love the World

I've just been scrolling through Facebook about an hour after we all got to see Nick Griffin splattered over our televisions. Honestly, I knew his appearance on QT would be a really climactic event but I didn't realise just how many people would be watching. Pretty much all facebook statuses are pronouncing him as an absolute div' and this is coming from all ages, social and ethnic backgrounds. I think the public reaction tomorrow will be very interesting. We have to remember it was a London audience tonight and Londoners are probably the most multi-cultural community in Britain and we have no tolerance for racial discrimination or homophobia. I hope this is mirrored throughout the country and I'm sure it will be.

Jack Straw is just as much of an dick as Nick! I mean would you like to dodge the question anymore Jack? Immigration policies should be about our resources and capability to cope with migration. Isn't it that simple? For once I agree with the Tories. A cap should be placed annually which allows for a healthy environment for all. That doesn't mean literally turning people away but I think it comes down do we have enough jobs available? But a woman in the Question Time audience did have a great point to make. A lot of 'British' people won't do the jobs that are deemed working class. But qualified doctors coming here will clean houses etc proudly. Being on of the many who has recently been forced to sign on it suprised me that I was only asked to apply for three jobs a week. I think it is essential that the public understand the importance of a good education and the importance of earning your own money. I find it appauling that I am going to be given money for doing absolutly nothing. Though I am hoping I will get a job before money is handed over to me on a silver platter.

Moving on, why are we still talking about Enoch Powell? His famous speech was before I was born. It hardly seems to be relevant anymore and has no reflection on politics today? Similarly, why are we talking about our forefathers. They did a great job but can we please focus on today and the future. Its all very well talking about previous mistakes and political catastrophes but we can't change that so why have such an emphasis on the past?

Bonnie Greer said it most fantastically, the British people have common sense. Can this now please be reflected in the government? At the moment I could careless who was in power (well obviously the BNP should be no where near Parliament). Massive change needs to take place and we need to get the oldies out and bring some new fresh faces in. I am so bored of looking at Gordon, Jack, David, Boris. They are old fogies who look as if death is just around the corner. How will they ever follow through with any of their policies?

Tuesday, 20 October 2009

Its off...

Last Friday I finally finished my PGCE application. I forgot what its like to apply to universities and wondering if you have made the right desicions and having your heart set on one path. I'm hoping whatever happens I'll be a student once again in September studying hard and training to become a drama teacher.

I'm hoping that through becoming a teacher I can make changes in the education system. Something has to change and it has to change soon. In the news this morning there was an article about a boy refusing to stand up when his Headmaster entered the room. I think good for you boy, standing up for your rights (well sitting actually) but at the end of the day your Headmaster is your elder and deserves respect. I have had a very Roman Catholic education and respect and serving others has always been predominant in what makes for a 'good' person. We were taught from the very first lesson in year 7 what 'SERVIAM' means; To serve others. We learnt about the history of the Ursuline and St Ursula and St Angela and I can reel this off for you like the back of my hand. We found it all very boring at the time but I think knowing the history of your school is an excellent way to understand how you should behave.
Of course children need to have fun and be able to play but respect for your teachers does not seem too much of an effort really. Afterall they are imparting their knowledge and offering you the chance to learn in a safe environment. My mum always says 'children today have too many rights' and I think she is right. Parents all to often stick up for their children rather than backing the teacher. Punishment doesn't seem to be punishment anymore and children are getting away with murder!

However, on the other side of this I think drama seriously needs to have some more important in the National Curriculum. I honestly belive if you introduced drama into the National Curriculum then we would have a lot less problems. Its in drama that you learn to argue without offending, hear as well as listen and also its where you learn how to critique others work in a constructive way.

Catch 22 - Helping Young People Out

Last week I took some great advice from a certain individual and logged on to the Wandsworth Volunteer Bureau. This led to me finding many organisations in and around Wandsworth that I (who has lived in Wandsworth my entire life) had never heard about before. In response to this I gave Catch 22 a call and found out about their work and offered to volunteer with them. The charity helps young people who have found themselves in difficult situations and offers a mentoring scheme which I am going to be apart of once my CRB is cleared. I've never visited a youth centre before and it was rather strange. As you enter theres that Byker Grove feel about it but no actual people anywhere to be seen. Thought this was probably to do with the fact right next door Base was open offering all the mod cons; computers, music rooms and even a 'juice bar'. Saying that the scheme seems brilliant and Lindsey (the trainer) was enthusiastic and clearly committed to providing a safe environment for young people in Wandsworth. We went through a few exercises, talking about what you should and shouldn't do with your mentees. The obvious being don't bring them to your house, don't give them money and some more merky subjects; gifts. I felt a little scare-mongered by the governments policy. If you lend a kid 10p then that can be used against you. Give me a break please. Honestly, its all tick boxing and 50 years ago this would not have been a problem.
So far I'm really impressed but of course I have a small problem. Its something which I have always thought but never had the opportunity or perhaps have always felt I needed to censor. Anyway getting to the point:

As a 21 year old who has lived in Wandsworth her entire life I've only experienced the 'Wandsworth community' once in my life and that was at Brownies. I remember a youth group opening just down the road from my house when I was about 13 but being the girl who went to the posh Catholic girls school I felt I did not have the right to be there. It has always felt for me that youth centres belong to the 'underprivelleged', if you can categorise that? I think this needs to change massively otherwise we will never be able to bridge the gap that continues to grow.
I'm very excited to start mentoring and finally being able to use my degree more constructively.

Friday, 21 August 2009

My Booky Wook

Before reading Russell Brand's uniquly written autobiography, I was not a fan of his. However, I am now besotted with him. He is both hilarious and uttetly intelligent. His book is a fast paced comic look at his life and of course his heroin addiction. Usually I don't particularly like these books that tell you all about how difficult it is coming off smack and how shooting up is a way to forget about their dads leaving and their mums hitting them. But Brand's writing is rather self depricating but without the sympathy aspect of your normal 'I was addicted to drugs' story. He looks at his absolutly hilarious antics whilst high; like the time he had his homeless mate come and live with him and film it. He talks about a play him and his friend wanted to write when they had been up on acid, about a book neither of them had read. They found a space to hold auditions and rehearse and publicised the performance. The night before it was due to premiere they had an acid trip and decided to cancel the whole thing. You cannot deny being on drugs in the way Brand was does not sound hilarious and this is why Brand is excellent. He does not pretend that it wasn't fun. Essentially Brand is a philospher and this really comes across in his writing.

Definently recommend this book. Although don't read in public spaces as you will have people looking at you oddly because of the fact you cannot stop laughing.

Wednesday, 19 August 2009

NIE Blog

I just wanted to say that the NIE blogs make me laugh a lot especially the recent one about being locked in a flat.

Monday, 17 August 2009

First day at The Space

I started working with The Space Theatre Company this week. The Space is a theatre company based in the Isle of Dogs, committed to improving access to the arts; and if you read my dissertation you know already that this is an issue I am interested in. The space offers the community the ability to get invovled with the theatre for free. You can take part in workshops whether you are 5 years old or 50, or like me you can volunteer. As a volunteer it is easy to get stuck with all the odd jobs but The Space has helped to tailor the experience to cater my needs and their needs.

I am assisting with their summer school for young people. This week they children are given the skills to produce and perform a show, there is set design, lighting design, sound design and script writing to choose from. I have been assisting with the script writing workshops led by Peter Easterly. So far I have learnt a lot about giving a workshop which is more theory based and this has been extrememly interesting and helpful. The theme that we have been looking at is money which of course is a very tentative issue at the moment that affects both adults and children alike.

Next week we will begin to devise a show based on the story of Treasure Island. I am very excited to see what ideas the children have and to see what the end will look like.

Sunday, 16 August 2009

My First Edinburgh Festival

On Thursday myself and Chloe travelled up on the Megabus to Edinburgh. When we arrived we were pleased to see the sun shining and we were looking forward to spending a few days enjoying the sun and shows. Oh how we were wrong! By Friday it began to rain and it did not stop until Saturday afternoon. However, this did mean lots of coffee drinking and huddeling under umbrellas. We saw St Mary's own Destination GB on Friday. I have only seen it once before and it has developed well. The show itself is mostly improvised and this I like about it. Although at times it was clear the actors got a little lost in the action and had to quickly get back to the main storyline. I did enjoy watching the show and the audience loved it, however as(although I am generalising) with much of Kasia's work I felt the message was far too drummed into me. I understood what they were trying to acheive quite early on and I think they could employ some more subtle techniques to acheive their message.

After Destination GB it was time for Metamorphosis, a play based on the story by Franz Kaftka. I thouroughly enjoyed this performance by Cambridge University. It was a very stylisied piece of work and the choreography was spot on. The atmosphere they created as an ensemble was chilling. I liked that they used the family of Gregor to tell the story rather than basing it all around Gregor himself. Halfway through the performance the make up on the actors began to dramatically deteriorate, I am not sure if this was deliberate but it worked extremely well. It showed the deterioration of Gregor's humanity and I loved this. In fact there was not much wrong with this show, although my only niggle is that they started to take down the set as soon as the show was over and having a good old chat with their families and friends. This is a pet hate for me!

On Saturday Chloe and I had theatre for breakfast, which consisted of weak coffee and a stale crossisant and some very bad comedy! I am not sure if I want to waste anymore time talking about this performance apart from to say if you like cheap humour with no sub-text this is the show for you. The Bite-sized Breakfast on at the Bedlam Theatre.

My last show in Edinburgh was Ritter, Denne, Voss. It is a play about the famous 20th century philospher Ludwig Wittgenstein. It was a very eerie performance with some good dark humour but at times it was hard to keep up with the story. I wish I had read the programme before watching the show because I would have understood it more. Ludwig has returned to his family home where his two sister's live, from a mental institution. For me I felt the play was exploring the inside of his mind and this was reflected in the set design. I think I need a bit more time to consider my opinion on this performance but I would recommend it.

Overall I had a wonderful time at the festival. I met some great people and loved having a massive dose of theatre after a few months of not seeing any theatre. Tomorrow I start working for The Space Theatre Company in the Isle of Dogs which is in south-east London!