19th July 2011
Today's blog was written by Chip.
LJ, the last member of our team, arrived this morning. Now the action could really begin! Our theatre tour for 2011/12, A Bird In Your Ear, could begin to take shape. With everyone incredibly keen to get started on turning the Little Birds' stories into a real live theatre show — with lights, with music, with puppets, and with crazy sets — we all rushed straight to the stage of the Artrix in Bromsgrove... and sat down.
Of course, nothing could happen until all the storytellers had been introduced to the stories! Chip and Talulah gave LJ, Gloria and David the low-down on which stories they had chosen and why. For the first half of the day, the storytellers discussed each story one by one, considering Talulah's designs and asking important questions such as, Which stories should use puppets? Which one would make a great ballad? and Can we have an invisible pond that splashes the audience with real water? Talulah spent much of the time shopping for materials, but did pop into the studio every now and then to make sure we weren't getting too carried away and giving her impossible tasks. (Though we're very pleased to say that the splashing invisible pond was not going to be impossible to make...!)
The most important part of today, however, was for all of the storytellers to get to know each other and bond as a team. We will be working very closely over the next few days, so we had to get along — and grow to understand each other's creative minds. As some of us acknowledged, being faced with the challenge of turning the stories of highly imaginative 7-11 year olds can feel quite intimidating at first! But after plenty of chatting about the stories, and a few storytelling games, we were beginning to grow in confidence that we would repeat — and build upon — the success of last year's A Little Bird Told Me.
Returning to our home for the week was almost like stepping into Santa's grotto for Talulah, who found five packages of various shapes and sizes awaiting her. Among them were the fireproof moslin fabric that will become our trees, the felt that will be crafted into leaves, and — Talulah's favourite — a box of over 500 glue gun sticks!
Even though she only arrived that morning, LJ dove right into her cookery duties, admitting to have taken great pleasure in the chopping of a butternut squash (it took her 30 minutes!) which she then turned into a deliciously creamy — but very low calorie — risotto. Thanks to such a healthy meal, we were then able to treat ourselves to Talulah's exquisite dessert: frozen berries covered in warm white chocolate. Yum yum yum!
We all finished the day enjoying a game of Playing Shakespeare — similar to charades, each teammate has to act out the missing words from Shakespeare quotes for the rest of their team to guess correctly. The ladies took on the lads, who were supported by our host Richard to even the playing field a little. As Chip gesticulated wildly, David's cry of "thy riches pleasant!" won the game for the lads. Gloria, LJ and Talulah went to bed shortly after, but stayed up long into the night as they plotted their revenge...