Thursday, November 24, 2016

Toby's Manifesto

So...Toby spent a very long time writing this in order to get elected by his peers to School Council. Toby has ADHD and suspected ASD and isn't the most popular kid in class. So he didn't get elected. And he was utterly heartbroken. BUT I posted this manifesto on facebook and had the most awesome response from my friends. So I'm tweeting it out there and putting out here for anyone to comment on. He's nine years old. And he rocks my world.


By Toby Alexander Edwards
A manifesto on how to become part of school council and purge Torridon Junior school of it’s greatest problems
My dear friends and classmates, if you vote for me to be your representative on the School Council I will promise to do these following things:

1.)My first suggestion is for the school to no longer speak in a single voice.
I am suggesting making a cardboard box I call the “suggestion box” with this, if any student has a good idea to improve the school, they can write down what there suggestion is on a slip and put it into the suggestion box. There will be 1 suggestion box in each and every class. At the end of the week, someone (say Mrs Parkhouse) empties the suggestion box, and decides which suggestions are good ones to use, or which is just for their own fun.
Good suggestion: make our own school “Be a Buddy not a Bully” club
Suggestion for someone’s own fun: Have the school cafeteria serve chips and burgers 1 week, fish fingers and chips another week, crispy fish and chips another week, and pizza and fries another week FOREVER!!

2.) My second suggestion is to have lonely students, to be happy and the EXACT OPPOSITE OF LONELY!
I think we should have a friendship bench. Students who have no friends  (those who do not have friends, I feel your pain ) can sit on the friendship bench, and someone will come and BOOM! Ultimate friendship power !!

3.) don’t think I didn’t forget about the infants!
My next suggestion is to have someone in the school council to read a fairytale aloud to a chosen infants class. At some point we could do a puppet show! That will 100% make the infants happy (I think)

4.) my final suggestion is to delete the schools greatest and most horrific problem...

I suggest someone who is being mean such as swearing to someone or hurting someone, should be sent into a room for a while. If they do not learn their lesson and do this repeatedly: PUNISHMENT! (If someone does this with a friend, they must be separated so they do not chat or play rock, paper, scissors)

In conclusion:
·        Happy students
·        No more bullies
·        Entertainment for the infants
·        Our school no longer speaking in a single voice

Vote for me !

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

2014 in retrospect

So it's the last day of 2014 and as everyone does, I'm looking back. And it's actually been the best year I can remember for a while. I know not everyone can say the same - I have some friends who have had a truly dreadful year. But for me 2014 was a good one. A dream came true - Cosi Fan Tutte in the West End - I met a hero - Armistead Maupin. My boys are getting older - Toby in the Juniors now - and easier. I had three amazing holidays. I made some new friends and appreciated some old ones. So I'm feeling positive going into next year. No idea what it will hold.

We never celebrate New Years - even before children it was rare for us to go out and party. Tonight I imagine will be a quiet one. But I'm thankful for the year I've had. Even though I rarely blog, I had to write this post and look back!

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Crazi Fan Tutte!

So my dream came true last Friday -made my west end debut in Cosi Fan Tutte at the Coliseum. It was a magical wonderful night - made all the more specialby my lovely sis and sis-in-law sending me the BIGGEST bouquet imaginable. I saw it by the stage door and assumed it was for one of the principals and then squealed with excitement when I saw it was for me!
Reviews have been mixed - I think we're like Marmite - you either love it or if you're an opera purist you hate it....

So if you're in London and at a loose end - there are 11 shows left....

Sunday, April 20, 2014 actor post for the first time in ages....

I got a job! Woo hoo! I'm two weeks in but am taking the opportunity the Easter weekend is giving me (ie I am not exhausted) to update my blog!

I'm working with Improbable Theatre in collaboration with English National Opera. Phelim McDermott, the director, has directed operas before and gets a skills ensemble involved - actors and performers - to help construct the world of the opera.

We're doing Cosi Fan Tutte -a classic Mozart comedy - and it's set in Coney Island in the 50's - and the skills ensemble are the carnys. We're an interesting combo as you can see!
The majority come from cabaret and circus - we have a contortionist, a fire eater, a cabaret freakshow all-rounder (piercings, blockhead, fire, glass walking etc), a strongman, a sword swallower, a giant, two little people, a fusion bellydancer, an actrobat and then ME! And one other actor who specialises in physical theatre and has worked with Phelm before.

It took me a while to find out why the hell I was there - I couldn't do any stunts or tricks....(I'm the fat lady and the bearded lady btw)....but in the second week it became very clear - this style of devised performance is what I trained in. I'd forgotten how much fun it is to be so physical and creative.

Working with the singers is awesome - I'm blown away by their talent - not only do they have to remember the lines, sing in tune (and Mozart has a LOT of notes) but they also have to act. It's mindblowing. They're also really lovely to work with - we feel like a company rather than us and them.

You can read more about it here  - Dan Ayling our AD is writing a blog. And Phelim is interviewed about it here.

It's always been my dream to perform in the West End and it's coming true. We open at the Coliseum on 16th May. It's such a beautiful theatre - the shining ball on top is something so familiar.
 And it's definitely the biggest gig I've ever played! 2,359 seats! Argh! This is the view from the stage!

I'll try and post more when I have time. I'm just so utterly thankful to be working again and working on such an amazing production - totally different to anything I've done before.....