Sunday, 15 February 2009

The Show Must Go On!

What a week. As the education arm of the Collective, we were going up to North Devon to deliver some workshops in a school as part of a Science of Colour Week of events. Along the way, we passed all kinds of places where we'd previously broken down on a nightmare journey along the same route to perform at a festival late last August. In an electric van. Since it broke down such a lot it had been got rid of, (though the nightmare journey itself is a worth a tale!) and changed for an LPG van. As soon as we arrived on the road outside the venue, we realized that this vehicle too, was going nowhere fast, as a pool of liquid promptly fell out from underneath and covered the pavement, and the steering went. Great. As if this wasn't all, there was parent-in-hospital drama going on, and General Mayhem (that unwelcome guest whenever one's trying to get things done under stress) had definitely invited himself to the fray. 
   Despite this (and endless calls to the breakdown company, etc.) we went in, explained what was up, and then got on with delivering the workshops. The first was a 'Name the Colour Game', and all about words, colours and communication. The Northcott Theatre had kindly let me have a box of their used theatre light gels for the purpose, and I was right that having seen the beautiful colours of the gels, everyone would want one, and so it proved - as a crowd of fifty surged forward to choose the colour they wanted, for a moment I wondered if it had been wise! But the teachers made sure they formed an orderly-ish queue, and so all participants went away with a prize. My own workshop was my 'Wonderful World of Colour' workshop, which I love (being a visual artist on the inside, as it were). As ever, there were words for shades of colour hitherto unsuspected by everyone and participants came up with some new ones. So I went in with 130 odd words for colour and came out with even more. Again, everybody wanted a piece of gel. Contrary to what we'd been told, actually the younger participants wanted every colour pretty much, with only a very slight preference among boys for blue. And the older ones had a bit more of a bias towards the girls wanting pink, but the most marked trend was that we had hardly any left of any colour except orange! (But then we did have an awful lot of that...). We felt that pretty much everyone had learned something new, written a couple of poems, had some fun and that everyone had got a piece of gel with which they could make a window decal or anything else they liked. 
   We made it back to base with the help of a recovery vehicle, and Yolande who'd booked us was very kind about the hassle, and we had many cups of coffee, before leaving. Many thanks to her, Elaine, all the helpers and the Northcott Theatre.