We were lucky enough to have been paid a visit by Bespoken Theatre for a workshop on the generation of The Windrush at our Thursday group last week. It was a brilliant comprehensive look at the history of the Caribbean people who were invited over to Britain to help rebuild the country after it was devastated by World War 2. They arrived on the ship HMT Empire Windrush to a country cold and unwelcoming after the warm islands they had left behind. The racism they suffered was unforgivable, and we were glad to see it was shown in the workshop. It was an eye opener for some of our younger attendees who hadn’t learnt about racism and discrimination before. We also learnt that Britain began deporting those who had come over with Windrush, and heard the devastating effect this had on families who had lived and made their lives here only to be rejected and sent back to the islands they had come from decades before. We enjoyed the arts and crafts that were provided by Bespoken, and the fruits they brought for us to sample: they were delicious! Thank you Bespoken Theatre!https://www.jcwi.org.uk/windrush-scandal-explained
"Beautiful and Important work. Such a moving piece of community theatre. This needs to be seen in schools and all settings to help us learn about everyone's history." Participant at AIM Community Centre
Congratulations to Bespoken Theatre company on their production Ordinary, written and directed by Cherie Hughes. We saw the show Friday evening. I LOVE women writer/ directors! More please! Ordinary tells the true and fascinating story of Helen Duncan who was the last woman to be arrested under the Witchcraft Act. Cherie’s writing is playfully lively, and she directs her engaging trio of actors, with real skill and confidence. This company has a wonderful future ! Kay Adshead Performer/Writer/Director of Stormy The Opera, Thatcher's Women
I experienced the play Ordinary as truly gripping theatre - unexpected, witty, exciting, with scenes of brilliantly crafted verbal and physical dialogues of developing themes contrasting with quieter periods, both calm and reflective and sometimes sinister... I was always wanting to know what lay ahead and enjoying it so much when it arrived!
"An Unforgettable evening of atmospheric, layered and powerful drama. Abigail Halley gives a tour de force performance as troubled Medium Helen Duncan.” Ordinary November 2021
I went to see Bespoken Theatre’s production of ‘Ordinary’ last night in the top of this tower at London Bridge. It’s a really spectacular piece of theatre, brilliantly told with really stunning performances by the actors.
Thank you so much for today's performance and celebration of the life of Mary Seacole. The students absolutely loved it and were talking about it for the rest of the day! It was wonderful to see how well all students engaged in the story and were keen to take part in the telling of it. The multisensory aspect of the performance really brought the story to life, especially the costumes and herbs. It had exactly the right combination of interaction and learning for our students and I am sure they will remember so many facts about this amazing role model for compassion, resilience and fortitude.
"Wonderful and inspiring"
"Thanks so much. You did a great job getting some of our more anxious students out of their shells, and everyone had a fantastic time. Really recommend this especially for students with SEN, or those who are hesitant to engage socially."
"We can’t wait for our next visit from Bespoken Theatre Company. Truly interactive and inclusive, engaging some of our most hard to reach young people. Thank you for putting smiles on their faces and giving them the confidence to use their voices."
"Thank you to Bespoken Theatre for their wonderful visit today! The AIM attendees had a brilliant time, highly interactive and promoting team work."
Our primary /middle department at the Bethlem and Maudsley Hospital School was recently lucky enough to have a visit from the Bespoken Theatre Company. We invited the company to provide a session as an ending to our project on the Greek myths. It proved to be a glorious conclusion to a very successful exploration of these great stories: it was truly memorable. Abi from Bespoken came for the whole morning and provided a multisensory exploration of the myth of Persephone and how the seasons were formed. Not always an easy group, Abi was still able to engage all the pupils putting them at their ease and building up participation gradually in a gentle, non-threatening way. The story was told with clarity and beauty but what made it unusual was the cross-curriculum reach. After the story there was Greek food to sample as well as Greek music and locating the country geographically. We then had a paper flower workshop which the pupils enjoyed as the tasks were achievable and the outcomes, in terms of end product, were delightful. I would recommend Bespoken Theatre Company unequivocally and we have a second workshop in our diary for next half term. Again, the session has been bespoke for us and fits in with our new topic of transformation. Chocolate tasting will be included and a design task incorporated into the morning. It sounds like a recipe for another stimulating morning and we are very much looking forward to it. Thankyou Bespoken from all of us.
"The most striking aspect of this tale of the underside of life in a London boarding house is that the four male characters are played by woman and the one female character is played by a man. "This has the effect of making us consider the kind of behaviour and conversation that, in certain circles, define gender: the men swagger, swear and swap sexist remarks, and the woman gently gives way to them, while actually being the strongest of them all. The performers imitate the manners and the mannerisms of members of the opposite sex most effectively. An entertaining and quite illuminating piece."
"The story of chocolate was a fabulous workshop of two parts. Starting with Cocoa butter hand cream and Willy Wonka singing a world of imagination wonderful the story telling started. We moved into our very own rain forest to meet the Mayans and Aztecs through to the conquistadors and then into Europe and Pepys's London and the chocolate houses of the 17th century. With kinaesthetic chocolate factories and questions to keep the engagement we ended with tasting the 'bitter water' and then the ever sweeter samples of chocolate the sensory backdrop continued as we were moved into some lovely design work of our own wrappers in part 2. We made some lovely design work with chances to think about the language of bar names and discussions around prices and flavours as we worked. Pitch perfect."
"The young company twists Kathy Burke's play by having women play the male roles and a man the female. This neatly perturbs the audience's expectations about male bonding, focusing attention on the way men do - and don't - touch each other. This is an attractive and questioning production."
"Witty and moving. Women In Technicolor is a thought-provoking piece of theatre. The performances of Abigail Halley and especially Cherie Pruden in the dual role of Cathy and Marlene Dietrich are excellent."