A Fun Day Filming For Delight in Shakespeare

A great resource for Delight’s programmes are the instructional videos which support the teachers with in-school delivery. I went along to the filming of the Delight in Shakespeare videos with the Guildford Shakespeare Company to find out how it’s done. By Ella Breen

This was quite an intensive day of filming with lots of content and takes – especially compared to the Delight in Dance filming, which I had previously attended.

We filmed in The Mill Studio of the Yvonne Arnaud Theatre in Guildford. The venue was made good use of – brick walls and curtains became stage entrances and exits, chairs became props and the theatre lighting helped to create stage atmosphere.

The script was very layered and it got a bit confusing. At points it was difficult to determine if mistakes were intentional examples inserted for the children to learn from or actual slip ups. However, towards the end it all fell into place and worked well! Watching the actors perform the Witches scene from Macbeth using different styles of acting was very entertaining – I think the children will really enjoy watching this.

“What’s really exciting is that, after a year off, we are getting back into the schools, which is going to be amazing!”

Ant Stones – Guildford Shakespeare Company

It was great to see how a professional theatre company explains the acting skills and techniques in a way that primary aged children can engage with.

Between takes, I caught up with two members of the Guildford Shakespeare Company team to get some insight into how they got started and their involvement with the Delight in Shakespeare project.

Matt Pinches (Cofounder): “I’m one of the two cofounders and producers at Guilford Shakespeare Company. We founded the company 15 years ago and I am so proud of the journey the company – and everybody who we have come in contact with – has been on.

“We work with some incredibly talented individuals whether that’s actors, directors, designers, choreographers, or writers. It’s a huge honour to work with so many wonderful people. It’s great just to make theatre either for big audiences or for school audiences, it’s a real pleasure.”

Ant Stones (Head of Education): “I’ve been working with Delight for seven years now, so this is our seventh year of taking plays into schools. It’s got bigger and better every single year. During the pandemic we couldn’t do live shows – we filmed all our shows and the children filmed their shows. What’s really exciting is that, after a year off, we are getting back into the schools, which is going to be amazing!”

Josh Thompson, from Wiggly Line, directing the shot.

The group discuss the next shot.

The sound man takes a well-earned break.

The GSC actor’s rehearse the next shot.

I have some film and photography experience and am interested in developing this, so it was helpful for me to observe how the specialist camera, sound and lighting work together. It was particularly interesting to see how sensitive the sound equipment was to external noises such as cars and people outside the studio, and even pigeons!

Delight CEO Kathryn Mills laughing/sneezing.

Thanks to Josh Thompson at Wiggly Line the takes have now all been edited into 3-7 minute films – and they look great! We are all really looking forward to them being shown in schools when the programme restarts in January 2022.

Find out more about our Delight in Shakespeare programme and Guildford Shakespeare Company.

Filming Delight in Dance with Made by Katie Green

Katie Green practising her monologue.

Before Delight delivers its programmes in schools, a massive amount of resource preparation needs to be done. Instructional videos are just one of these resources and are key to supporting teachers and making the learning accessible. I went along to document professional dance company, Made by Katie Green, as they filmed the Delight in Dance videos with filmmaker Rosie Powell. By Ella Breen.

Coming from a fine art background it was interesting for me to see how a commercial film is produced, as opposed to in a fine art context.

I’m a passionate photographer and it was a fun challenge to try to capture the dancer’s movement as I am more used to still subjects. I think I took some great action shots that convey the fun atmosphere, which I am sure will also come through in the videos.

Watching Katie Green direct the choreography and the dancers was especially amusing. I captured some great shots of the dancers having fun and getting stuck into their hero vs villain roles – it was easy to see why the kids love the dance programme so much.

“Today has been really fun having a lovely group of dancers and working with the brilliant Rosie.”


Katie Green (Director of Made by Katie Green).

The dancers dressed up in costumes so that the children will be able to easily identify the heroes (blue capes) and villains (black capes). A white background was used to make the dancers pop and coloured floor dots marked the edge of the dance stage.

Between takes, I got a chance to speak to the choreographer, Katie Green, and the dancers, who clearly enjoyed the day too.

Katie (Artistic Director, Made by Katie Green): “Today has been really fun having a lovely group of dancers and working with the brilliant Rosie to put together the films for our upcoming project.”

Chloe (Dancer, Made by Katie Green): “I’ve been doing the project now for a year and I’ve really, really enjoyed working with the children… I’m excited to get back into the classroom.”

Later that day, myself and fellow Kickstarter Tasmin had the opportunity to join the Delight in Dance CPD (Continued Professional Development) session for teachers, which involved taking part in some of the dance exercises I had watched being filmed.

Seeing how the film translates into the programme delivery was a great way to round off my knowledge of the Dance project. A great day was had by all.


Find out more about Delight in Dance, Made by Katie Green and the Yvonne Arnaud theatre space we filmed at.


Shréya raises £4000 for charity

Delight CEO Kathryn Mills receiving Shréya’s donation.

Delight’s newest fundraiser swims to success. By Ella Breen.

Over the summer, 10-year-old Shréya raised more than £4000 for Delight and Msalura Primary School in Malawi by swimming 1km every day for 34 days in Caterham’s De Stafford pool. She was inspired to take on the challenge after David Walliams, one of her favourite authors, swam 34km across the English Channel in one of the top 50 fastest times.

Shréya says: “Seeing all the donations for good causes really moved me and made me want to do it myself. I used to really struggle with confidence and being shy both in and outside of the classroom… That was before I developed a passion for arts and drama, which helped me develop my self-esteem and grow my confidence. I want to give other children the same opportunity. Every penny we raise is going to help hundreds of children.”

“Every penny we raise is going to help hundreds of children.”

Shréya

The money raised for Delight will go towards helping more children in Surrey gain access to arts-based learning through the Delight in Shakespeare programme, which aims to build drama skills and confidence in children and develop teachers’ drama practice in the classroom.

Shréya at the pool.

The other half of the money raised will go to Msalura primary school in Malawi which is partnered with Shréya’s primary school and offers a programme aimed at getting girls into education.

‘Thanks to a generous donation from Essendene Lodge School we have been able to offer further help with providing PPE, as schools re-opened on 22nd February, and also provide some food aid of maize and beans to the most needy children which we hope will tide their families over until the harvest later this month. I am happy to confirm that we will sponsor eight new 14-year-old girls to begin secondary education, bringing the total to 20. The overall cost of paying fees, an annual allowance for books and equipment and final year exam fees comes to around £1,500 a year and we have been able to sustain this commitment thanks to regular donations from our generous supporters.’ (Source)

What an amazing achievement, Shréya! Delight is very grateful for your incredible fundraising efforts.


Find out more about Shréya’s fundraising challenge on her JustGiving page.

Want to support Delight Charity? Find out how, here.