Almost there…

The show is complete! All scenes and songs have been devised and completed for the end of the show. Last week we went back through the whole performance to make sure they are all up to scratch before taking it into the space this week for blocking.

We worked with Hannah Phillips our director to make sure all our energy, projection and volume was up during scenes that we went and revisited from the beginning of the performance.

We now have two new songs, ‘Sisters in Arms’ for the female pirates and ‘Lessons Learnt’ for the finale. We were very lucky again to have this wrote and composed for us by the amazing Nik Haley. We have worked on both of the songs using harmonies and making sure we remember that diction is really important not only because some of the songs are fast but because in the outside space a lot of volume will be lost. Continue reading

Why of course, you’re under the sea…

So today we are at mac continuing with rehearsal and devising more scenes.
Our main focus this morning has been working on our transition between under the sea to how the children go about finding Mama Glow. We have included two motifs from one pair Mica and Gemma and another from Justyn and Richard. Me and George then come through and perform a duet to the children to say goodbye to them. The purpose of the duet and motifs is to not only show the strength of women but to not ignore the fact of a male strength. So even if George is a mermaid he can still be strong. This reiterates our message of individuality being encouraged and further supports our idea of overcoming gender stereotypes.

The English Studio at mac.

The English Studio at mac.

More to come later…


Get Washed Away…

So at the end of last week we were in project rehearsals choreographing lifts for the storm surge. Very first time we’ve done these was a little scary for the girls to begin with! Must say this, don’t try this at home! We have had much support in making sure the lifts are safe from Ruth Jacombs.

Take a look…

Joanna Lift…

Polly Lift…

Let me know what you think.



Applied Performance… What?

Hi, my name is Laura Folan, I am 19 years old and I am currently studying in first year Applied Performance (Community & Education) at Birmingham School of Acting. When we tell people what we do they ask, “What’s that?”. So here’s our own brief definition that some of my fellow students and I created.

‘The use of performance process and practice, be it acting, music, dance or other forms of art, and a use of socio-political theory to reach out to different communities and address relevant social and political issues aiming to make a change’

I really wanted to be a part of this field of work because it doesn’t just entertain like most conventional forms of performance art. However, we address relevant issues in order to help, educate and inform individuals from all backgrounds and diverse communities.

We are currently in the devising process for our first performance, The Pirates of Cannon Hill, which will be performed at mac (Midlands Arts Centre) in the outdoor arena, over three days, 14th, 15th and 16th June. To book tickets please go to,

It is a children’s theatre performance based around the themes of gender stereotypes, discrimination and conformity. It tells the story of three children, Joanna, Niko and Polly who are all bullied at school for various reasons linking to gender stereotype and not conforming to the majority.

They are told a story by Grandma and taken on an adventure under the sea where they meet various sea creatures including the powerful ‘Mama Glow’ Mother of the Water who tells them they are to go and find the female pirates and learn vital lessons along the way. One thing our performance does is that it breaks down the gender stereotypes of what males and females should do, hence the use of female pirates instead of the well-known male pirate. This is then balanced out with the use of mermen instead of the conventional mermaid.

Posters and leaflets are all printed and being distributed and everything is getting very exciting. But where did it all start? Once we had been told what we were going to be creating and what themes it was based around, it was time to get researching. To begin with we was asked to research the performance aspect, anything from the sea to pirates and mythical creatures in order to start the devising process and begin creating material. Once we had regrouped, discussed and presented our research we decided to bring it to life so in small groups we created pieces of song, poetry, spoken word and dance. All of which were inspired by the research we had formulated.

From these pieces of work our director Hannah Phillips began to envisage where the performance could go. We then as a group led by Hannah formulated a narrative through further pieces of work which may not be included in the performance, but were vital as they gave us a stronger platform and springboard from which the narrative came to life.

After workshops all centred around creating material we came to realise two songs that we created were to become very important to the production, they are; ‘Under the Sea’, our own version of the Little Mermaid song and an original song ‘Take Me to Your Pirate Ship’. So when the time came to meeting up with music genius Nik Haley we had plenty to show him and were so excited to have him creating music and lyrics for us. The song he wrote and composed for our opening scene is called ‘You Don’t Fit In’ which we are currently embedding into our performance this week.

The performance entails a vast amount of movement based work as you can imagine! We began with Hannah working on a soundscape which represents the sea and its atmosphere in which we all make sounds to create a storm surge. We then took this to our movement project lessons with Ruth Jacombs who helped us to choreograph organic movement, dance and lifts to physically show the storm and we are now working on creating the entrance of the mythical creature Mama Glow into this section.

We are so lucky to use the mac for rehearsals and performance. The outdoor arena is fantastic! It is the perfect setting for our performance and we are so grateful to be using this space. Also the mac is a very vibrant and exciting place to be able to work. What’s better than on a Monday morning rehearsal being in the English studio with a complete view of Cannon Hill park! Please visit the mac’s website for more information,

And here we are a third of the way through our performance, creating more material full steam ahead! Please subscribe and keep reading about our process and successes.



Here’s some photos from our rehearsal process.