Days of Shakespeare – Fear, greed, treachery and hatred

Weavers Academy opened Creative Education Trust’s double Days of Shakespeare with Richard III; the drama and background narrative cleverly integrated in three ingenious twisting frames and several excellent performances: villainy never looked so good. Lynn Grove’s Romeo and Juliet proceeded from comedy to sorrow with elegance and charm. Caister’s As You Like it closed the first day; this complex tale of exile and disguise brought into relief by the students’ confident and energetic use of the stage. As the company of actors transformed themselves with props and sound and movement into the forest of Arden, a memorable image was created for everyone in Abbeyfield’s auditorium.

Abbeyfield themselves opened the second day with Julius Caesar; grand and classical in its themes of republican power and politics, but with an undertow of moral complexity and decadence. The exemplary diction of the sixth form actors was an inspiration to younger players in the audience. Thistley Hough re-cast Twelfth Night in the campsite of a rained-out music festival, Count Orsino importuning music, the food of love, to his iPhone while Olivia scowled at hers. Ash Green’s Macbeth drew outstanding performances by the leads, supported by a confident cast of witches and men. The Hart School’s Much Ado About Nothing reminded us that we were watching human fauna at play in pursuit of love, as an anoraked cast of birdwatchers returned iteratively to their binoculars.

The Days of Shakespeare was devised for Creative Education Trust by HMDT Music four years ago and includes early interventions on text and design by the Royal Shakespeare Company’s Michael Corbidge and the designer Mark Friend. They have become treasured opportunities to perform some of the greatest works in English literature and design an absorbing visual spectacle. Most importantly, it is a chance for students to see what other schools in the trust have done and to witness their own creativity and skill in a wider perspective. Congratulations to the actors, designers and directors and an especial thank you to Richard Walker-Glen and his technical team at Abbeyfield School.

Article by Emily Campbell, Creative Education Trust

Theory of Everything Creative

Theory of Everything Creative, our new project with Creative Education Trust, engages their seven secondary Academies across the Midlands and Great Yarmouth in the creation and development of a new song-cycle. It is inspired by CET’s teaching methodology: Knowledge Connected which embraces key concepts of structure, pattern, meaning, performance, human interaction and practice.


In October 2017 20 Year 8 students from each school started the lyric writing process alongside professional writers Derek Martin, Peter Spafford, Harry Oulton and Shey Hargreaves. Each school was allocated a key concept and together they explored basic lyric writing techniques and styles before developing ideas and creating their own lyrics.


These lyrics are now being set to music by different Year 8 and 9 students supported by composers Matthew King, Jenny Gould, Michael Betteridge, John Webb and Richard Taylor. In these sessions, they are exploring different genres so that the students have ownership of their own ideas and input their own musical thoughts.


The finished songs will then be rehearsed by Years 7-9 choirs at each school before they all travel across the country to perform together at Abbeyfield School in Northampton on July 17th 2018. We are really looking forward to hearing what they have created – watch this space for an update!