Last month, a cast of professionals and pupils from Walker Technology College performed Walker Talk, a show created as part of a year long collaboration between Curious Monkey, Walker Technology College and The Sunday for Sammy Trust.
Since September 2016, a team of artists have been working alongside 40 young people across a range of disciplines to make this brand-new piece of theatre. These pupils honed their skills in writing with Lee Mattinson, performing with Co Directors Amy Golding and Toni McElhatton and Assistant Director Kat Pierce, set design with Nina Scott and music with Niroshini Thambar. The end result was a production that was straight from their imaginations and fresh from the heart of Walker.
The show was an absolute success, with tears from the headteacher and overwhelmingly positive feedback from audience members, pupils and teachers alike. Here is what they had to say:
"It's been a pleasure working with everyone, you've all been so supportive and helped me progress more as an actor. I feel like I have a whole other family now"
- Kieran, performer & participant
"Absolutely blown away...left me and others in tears! Congratulations on our amazing kids!"
- Michelle, teacher at Walker Technology College
"The project has given the kiss of life to expression in our school. Actually, not the kiss of life, it's more like the radioactive thing that Bruce Banner had that made him the hulk. Like super-human...those kids are like super-human versions of themselves. Not just the performers either, by the way, but the whole lot."
- Ben, teacher at Walker Technology College
Ahead of the show, our company manager Jen Dewar spoke to Sue Sweeney on BBC Newcastle about the project, have a listen (at 1:14). You can also read what the Chronicle had to say when Sam Wonfor visited the project.
It goes without saying that this project could not have happened without the support of The Sunday For Sammy Trust, who not only funded Walker Talk, but championed the young people involved throughout the entire process. Sunday for Sammy's star studded concert is on at Newcastle's Metro Radio Arena for two performances on 18th February 2018, proceeds from this concert go towards supporting invaluable performing arts opportunities for children and young people in the North East of England. Get your tickets now!
Thank you also to all of the wonderful staff at Walker Technology College, without your support and guidance, none of this would have been possible. And finally, to all of the pupils involved in this project across each creative discipline, thank you and well done; your creativity, passion and drive is what made the final performances the success that they were.