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In the News

Written by Paul

26th January 2018


Due to the innovative approach and the high quality delivery our project and work is regularly covered by local newspapers.  Once again we were featured in The Northern Echo which covered a current project that we are conducting in the Durham.

Spennymoor children learn about performing and pits in a new arts and heritage initiative

Catherine Priestley Chief Reporter (Sedgefield)


 MORE than 1,200 children will work with a professional theatre company on a new arts project that also teaches them about their heritage.

Pupils at 11 primary schools in the Spennymoor area will take part in history and performance workshops which could ultimately land them a role in acclaimed musical The Wind Road Boys.

The initiative was the idea of Spennymoor Town Mayor and Mayoress Ian and Judith Machin who wanted to host a show in aid of the Mayor’s charities, The 1st Byers Green Scouts and Durham Mining Museum at Spennymoor Town Hall.

As well as boosting the appeal coffers, they wanted a show to bring different generations together and celebrate both youth culture and the area’s history.

Then they learnt about The Wind Road Boys.

The musical, by writer Paul Flynn and Ferryhill-based theatre company Enter CIC, has been on tour since 2012 and wowed audiences from Sunderland Empire and Edinburgh Festival Fringe to community halls across the North. It combines history and real miners’ stories with a tale of love, pride, values and community.

The couple knew it was the show they were after and funding was secured to get Enter CIC to run workshops in schools.

Emma Spooner, community manager at North Park Primary School, which took part on Thursday, said: “It is a great opportunity for children to try something new and there is certainly an educational value to learning about their history in a new way.”

“We absolutely jumped at the chance to be involved.

“Learning about theatre, what goes into performances and the logistics and work behind the scenes to put on a large scale show, will be brand new to many of them.

“The children got great feedback from Enter CIC, we’re really proud of how they did and maybe some new talent will be found.”

Cllr Machin said: “All head teachers are hugely supportive.

“They believe children will love and benefit from the activities of performing arts, culture, history and heritage of Spennymoor.

“We are already seeing benefits through cross team working between schools across Spennymoor, ensuring that we reach all localities.

“By holding all workshops in school time we ensure maximum inclusion of children regardless of parents’ availability, wealth or support and minimum addition school working.”

Every child will get a certificate and, after the workshops, up to 110 youngsters will perform alongside the professional cast of The Wind Road Boys at Spennymoor Town Hall on March 9 and 10.

That will count towards a nationally-recognised Arts Award.

A concert version of the play will also tour six care homes and sheltered accommodation.

Cllr Ian Machin said: “We all share a common history, culture, heritage and interest.

“This project celebrates the town’s mining heritage, enables young people to participate in a free arts and heritage initiative, brings a unique production to Spennymoor Town Hall, engages the elderly and provides and an opportunity to raise funds for two local charities.”

Mining museum volunteers will take memorabilia to events to give them historical context and Whitworth Park School will provide a rehearsal venue, mini buses and students to help with the show’s technical production. Tickets on sale January 29.

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