|Acting Their Age With Yourspace Drama Company|
Book your children in now for Easter holiday courses
All the world’s a stage wrote William Shakespeare and increasingly the players on it include the young people of West London
“Drama helps children in such a wide variety of ways,” says teacher Faith Hagerty, whose Yourspace drama company runs courses in the Easter and Summer school holidays. “It’s not just about confidence. One girl recently said to me when we were doing set design for Guys and Dolls, ‘I never knew Pythagoras’s theorem would come in useful outside my maths class!’. It had been her idea to use it. But drama is fun, too, and I think that’s why it’s such a great way to spend time in the holidays.”
Faith herself went to school at Arts Educational in Bath Road, Chiswick, and then, as it didn’t have a sixth form at that time, to Notting Hill and Ealing High School. She continued her education with a drama, film and television degree at Bristol University and then at LAMDA in West London. She is now Head of Drama at an Ealing school and runs Yourspace drama, for ages 3-18, in the holidays. “I think I learned to be responsible at Arts Ed,” she recalls. “Your classmates, your friends, depend on you so you all put on the best possible show.”
Yourspace drama is holding its Easter course at St Augustine’s Priory in Ealing. This year’s four-day course for 6 to 16-year-old girls and boys is themed Heroes and Heroines and will combine acting, music, crafts and, if last year’s swashbuckling swordfight is anything to go by, a fair bit of careful choreography. It leads to a performance for parents on the final day.
“I love to see the shy children get more confident and everyone leave with a sense of achievement. They’ve put their whole selves into the Yourspace project so it’s quite different from the virtual badges and “levels” they get in screen games,” explains Faith. “At the end of the summer courses we conclude with a performance at Questors Theatre in Ealing and the children always do so well. Everyone is proud of them.
“Drama even helps some children get into reading. By coming up with a script we are effectively writing a story together. And speaking the lines while acting them, brings them to life in a way reading out loud in class or at home might not.”
Mother-of-two Faith became a teacher after working as a director with groups of disadvantaged and special needs children and enabling them to put on successful performances. “It was so hard for them to even turn up and rehearse at times, but I think that made their achievements so much greater.”
Faith’s team at Yourspace is highly qualified and includes musical director Ian Judson who studied at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama and now teaches at St Augustine’s and West Hampstead schools, pianist and vocal coach Una Murphy who teaches at City of London School, choreographer and teacher Joanna Toms BA, and assistant director Francesca Fearis who recently graduated with a degree in drama and physical theatre at St Mary’s University in London.
In the summer, their five-day courses for 6-11 year olds and 12-18 year olds will lead to a Yourspace performance at Questors on 16 August, with an Out of this World theme. Even the little 3-5 year olds, whose Moons and Stars course runs for five half days, will perform for parents and friends at St Augustine’s. As one West London parent wrote about Yourspace: "Our daughter thought it was more than amazing! It was the best show she had ever done."
At Easter Yourspace project for 6-16s runs 2-5 April and costs £155 and, in the summer, Yourspace for 12-18s, Yourspace too for 6-11s (both £185) and Yourspace tots for 3-5s (£130) all run 12-16 August at St Augustine’s, Hillcrest Road, London W5 2JL. There are discounts for siblings.
March 14, 2013