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2010 Festival Finale

Flotsam, Jetsam
and Dig-In-The-Mud

The project involved 64 pupils from Appledore Primary School, pupils and teachers worked with environmental educators, marine scientists and three artists to create a promenade performance for the 2010 Festival Finale. From late April to early June (2010), the pupils worked with this cross-curricula team of experts to create their performance.

Marine Biological Association (MBA): Jack Sewell a marine scientist and educator from the MBA, Plymouth, revealed the world of plankton, he brought a mobile laboratory with high powered microscopes and to identify plankton collected from the sea and estuaries around Appledore. Working with scientists like Jack was a rare opportunity, they learnt about the unseen life from their coastlines.

Hallsannery Education Centre: The pupils then spent two days out in the field with Pete Jollands an experienced environmental educator. He introduced them to their local coastal habitats; rocky shore, sandy shore, sand dunes and estuary mud flats. Through a combination of scientific surveys and interactive games the pupils experienced and learnt about these environments. On the second day, two of the artists involved with the project also attended, they worked with Pete and the pupils to start a process of creative enquiry. This involved collecting found items including natural (flotsam) and man made (jetsam) which gave the pupils the opportunity to consider the issues affecting their coastal environments.

Artistic Workshops: After their time with Jack and Pete, the pupils spent five days working with:
• Claire Anstee – Voice artist, singer and musician with experience working in schools
• Pip Jones – Dance and street performance artist with experience in puppetry
• Ali Roscoe – Visual artist with 30 years of education experience, currently member of the education team at Tate St Ives

With the artists the pupils created a storyline based on ideas inspired from their learning about their local coastal habitats. They created a storyline based around how three opposing groups – the shipwreckers, the collectors and the women of beauty – worked together with the three mythical creatures Flotsam, Jetsam and Dig-In-The-Mud to lift a spell from a haunted ship wrecked on Appledore Beach. The pupils worked with all three artists on different aspects of creating the performance. With Claire they created new songs, learnt how to sing them and also learnt how to use percussive instruments as part of the performance. With Pip they created a series of dance and movement pieces which were the central part of the promenade performance and with Ali they created a series of masks, costumes and puppets. The final performance was held on the Sunday afternoon of the 2010 Festival, over 1,000 people were present.

“It was a wonderful experience for the children to work with three such talented artists and they had opportunities to compose and perform across the arts that would have been more challenging to achieve in school. The finale of the performance on the beach was really good and there was a truly magical moment when the Women of Beauty descended down the steps onto Small Beach which was real theatre.
Sue Freeman, Head Teacher, Appledore Primary School

The project was funded by The Ernest Cook Trust.


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