Saturday, 11 February 2017

Tony Husband and Ian McMillan at the HEART Centre

A Cartoon History of Here

                                                                                          Photos by Richard Wilcocks

Audience comments

Absolutely top night, great show. A laugh from start to finish. Genius
Wonderful evening - enormous energy. Both were very entertaining and such fun!
Excellent evening to an appreciative audience.
Very entertaining.
Excellent - hilarious - could have listened for hours!
Brilliant, witty, creative and very funny. More of this !!!
Very enjoyable, entertaining and amusing. Lots of audience participation. Very funny and relaxed - everybody involved - all ages
Ticket/start time confusing! Stated doors open at 7pm not performance (we arrived a bit late) Ian and Tony always funny, inventive and engaging. Thank you
Delightful and inspiring evening.
Excellent, very funny. Good combination of talents.
Brilliant! Thanks for a great …
Great show!! Amazing.
Brilliant, well worth the small fee!
Very amusing and inventive
Lovely evening
Very entertaining, funny and creative
Very enjoyable. Lots of fun
Really enjoyable evening.
Excellent family fun
Please can he come back next year
An excellent evening. Thank you.
Brilliant performance!
It was great :)

Thursday, 2 February 2017

Poet Rommi Smith at Ralph Thoresby School

Rommi Smith (with flower basket) and the performers   Photo Richard Wilcocks
Gail Alvarez writes:
No pins dropped here; we would have heard them

The young poets of the 'Own Your Words' group based at Ralph Thoresby, and co-ordinated by teacher Kate Wolstenholme, got to perform the fruits of their labours over the past months.  Original writing and truly wonderful performances, inspired by working with poet, playwright, writer and performance coach Rommi Smith, left a catch in your throat.  Innermost thoughts, personal and revealing, laid on the line and presented to an audience of young peers rapt with attention.  No pins dropped here; we would have heard them.  Such a privilege to hear young people confident in their writing, able to Own Their Words.

Kate had grounded the young people in writing original poetry; Rommi's weekly workshops honed the words and fine-tuned the skills for delivering their writing to an audience.  Performance is key  for poetry– if you don't hear even just a couple of words you may not appreciate the message in a poem that is written to be tightly-focused, elliptical, pithy.  And oh, how the young people repaid the care and love that Rommi and Kate had given the group.  They had trusted, they had worked, and how they delivered.  There was more than one eye a little damp at the end.

The poets were supported by others from Ralph Thoresby too, with songs, music and dance interludes, as well as technical back-up.  And simply a tour de force from Rommi herself who talked of the difference that teachers of poetry (and drama) can make, did make, to her life.  She also performed her own poem on the value of books and libraries.  No wonder she was the first Writer in Residence at the House of Commons; no wonder she receives so many commissions from the BBC, universities here and abroad; no wonder she left the audience simply stunned.

Sally Bavage adds:
Thanks are due to the Outer NW area management team, especially the local councillors for Adel & Wharfedale, Guiseley & Rawdon, Horsforth and Otley & Yeadon, whose grant financed the poetry workshops.  They really have made a difference.

Of course, the final thanks must go to our poet and performers: Alex B, Alex M, Amy, Berry, Callum, Ellie, Elsa, Emma, Emma, Izzy, Kim, Mia, Mya, Rebecca and Shannon.

Kate Wolstenholme comments:
It was an honour to work with Rommi. She is bursting with ideas and energy and the pupils clearly benefited from the experience. The quality of their work and performances made me and them proud. Shy and anxious pupils worked alongside more confident ones to create and perform wonderful performances. I teach KIm, one of the girls in the group, and I've seen a clear improvement in her written work and her confidence. Thanks so much for helping make this happen.