May 18

Report on Body Language Workshop at Chatsworth High School, Eccles, Tuesday 17th May 2016

James worked with a group of twenty students and six staff on the subject of recognising feelings and emotions and on body language. We started with looking at how hands had been used to support communication in the ice-breaker activities.

We then worked in groups with the staff as scribes to match up facial expressions and feelings. After that we looked at a couple of Italian body language signs before moving on to learn and practise fourteen different French ones.

This was followed by a song which dealt with parts of the body in French and saw students attempting to plant cabbages with various parts of the body.

The session ended with the application of French body language and phrases to a tasting session where students tasted and commented on three different French soft drinks: diabolo cassis, orgeat and framboise.

The students were very engaged and concentrated well throughout the session which they seemed to enjoy a lot. Sadie Smith, the lead teacher, took some photos of the workshop which I hope will be on display at the school and perhaps we can use them as well.

Mar 4

2015 Year Evaluation Report

This internal evaluation Report covers all major BIWP events of 2015 based on separate evaluations produced by our team of university evaluators.

Click here to see the pdf format report.

Mar 4

Report on Workshop at The Octagon Theatre 5.12.15 10am - 12pm

This workshop was led by Elizabeth Newman, the Artistic Director of The Octagon, who worked with twenty BIWP participants whose languages included Russian, Albanian, Polish, Arabic and Urdu. They looked at what makes a story, at the ideas involved in plot and the nature of protagonists and heroes amongst other things. The children of the participants were involved in activities led by James and Gaye.

After a break we were all given a tour of the theatre and saw many of the props from The BFG production. We also met some of the actors and the backstage crew. This was a very different activity from our usual ones and further cemented the relationship between The Octagon and BIWP.

Mar 4

Report on a Showcase at The Friends’ Meeting House 3.12.15

Our final show of 2015 was outstanding. Besides our guest poet, Abi Idowu’s excellent contribution, the writing by others was particularly good. The singing by Irina in Russian and the Congolese choir in Swahili made a big difference to the evening. When the dancers came on at the end they had expected to get people to join in at about the third dance. In fact, the audience was up after two bars of music and this dancing ended a stunning evening which turned out to be one of the best shows of the year.

As with all our shows at this venue, refreshments included food prepared by our volunteers and in particular by our Indian, Albanian and Russian chefs whose creations were avidly devoured by the audience.

Mar 4

Report on two showcases at The Octagon Theatre 7.11.15

For the matinee a total of 275 people were present including 18 participants, 7 BIWP staff, 10 hired performers and 14 Octagon staff. Similar numbers applied for the evening performance but the audience was slightly smaller giving a total of 213 people.

This was the first ever co-production between BIWP and The Octagon and the two performances drew large audiences. In the past, this event, known as the Best Of Bolton, has been patronised by writers, almost all white Boltonians, with an audience of less than half the size of what we achieved this time and held in the main auditorium instead of the studio.

BIWP and Bolton At Home financed tickets for a substantial contingent of Congolese families to come to the event in the afternoon and BIWP further financed tickets for 120 refugees and asylum seekers to make their first ever theatre visit.

Most of those present welcomed the new format. One or two were not happy but to be fair they didn’t like anything else and demonstrated their unawareness of the year’s advertising that preceded the event.

BIWP participants read in Albanian, Polish, Swahili, Arabic, Romanian, Bulgarian, Farsi, Nepali, Tigrinya and Russian with translations in English. Dan Lever played a Bossa Nova he had written based on a Spanish poem. The Smile of Hope performed a variety of dances including a particularly moving interpretation of a Tigrinya story.