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We here at The Grand Theatre of Lemmings believe in a lot of things, but in amongst all the weird and wonderful things we hold true is this:

We believe that giving people access to high quality arts provisions opens up new horizons and nurtures a sense of belonging and personal well-being. And that’s what we love, so that’s what we do…

We create celebratory events, including festivals, with the involvement of local communities. We design projects for people of all ages that aim to engage local people in participatory activity that develops new skills, builds confidence and encourages personal development. What’s not to like about that I ask you?

Workshops

We had the opportunity to fine tune our existing skill set whilst working as practitioners and agents for Creative Partnerships. Through this work we developed a range of workshops suitable for schools and community events that have proved invaluable to our ongoing work. As part of the list we qualified as trainers to teach creative techniques to teachers and other professionals with Matilda Joubert.

This year has probably been our most diverse in terms of creative workshops. We ran multiple making workshops at the Jaywick Martello Tower, as well as contributing to a fantastic event called The Big Draw there. In an area with little cultural provision, the workshops were a direct and useful way of engaging with the local population and really helped us to embed ourselves in that community. These workshops led to a festival at the tower that celebrated its 10th anniversary and the good people of Jaywick turned out in force to support the event.

We also want to get everyone to join our circus…I mean, The Circus! So, with a view to working with young people in the region we have also acquired a set of circus equipment that enables us to run circus workshops, which does so many wonderful things for those participating.

Education

Working with Creative Partnerships as educators and producers, we became familiar with a large number of schools in Tendring and delivered some highly original projects. One highlight was with the Mayflower school in which every class (right down to infants) took part in a promenade performance for the parents, but perhaps the most interesting project was the 'garden of curiosities'.  Having come up with the concept we set about building the very first at Two Village School in Dovercourt. The project took over a piece of wasteland near the school and working with teachers and practitioners we turned it into an outdoor learning space covering most topics on the curriculum, from math’s to history. 

This year; George the Bookworm 

Wix and Wrabness Primary School have seen something extraordinary take place. On 2nd March 2017, World Book Day, the children of Wix and Wrabness came into school to discover multitudes of books with holes through them scattered across the school. Mr Newell, the headteacher, describing the scene when they arrived stated, ‘there were letters of the alphabet everywhere, strewn all over the place.’ As the day unfolded it was unveiled that George the Bookworm is to blame for munching his way through all the pages!  George lives in Room 3, Shelf G at The British Library and he has a problem.

He’s come across a book in the library but this book has NO words, they’ve gone missing. He’s been searching for these missing words but to have a good look he accidently nibbled his way through the pages.

This is part of a unique project that we produced with local author, Anita Belli, specifically for Wix and Wrabness Primary. The project encouraged all the children to write for a new school newspaper, The Curious Times. The children journalists investigated why George turned up and ate all the words.

The project was designed to encourage reading and writing skills within the school in a new and creative way and I can most certainly say, George is a creative genius!

Mixed Media Projects

The lemmings have mixed film with performance in both outdoor and indoor productions. They have produced two multi-media shows, as well as several film making projects in local schools. Their outdoor show ‘The Illusionarium’ and the more recent indoor show, ‘Descent of Man’, both made full use of digital technology, merging film and theatre in a style so brilliantly pioneered by Forkbeard Fantasy. The indoor show included animations as well as characters who merged seamlessly between film and stage.

Their experience of working with film and editing software came to the fore when they recently toured with The Smallest Theatre in India. With them, they took a filmmaker and now, they’ve got a mountain of footage, which is in the process of being turned into a film about that epic adventure. They’re just trying to edit out all the comedy mess-ups, falls and false moustaches – it may take a while.