Saturday, 26 October 2013

Shakespeare Schools Festival - not long now!

With only two rehearsal weeks to go, we are all working really hard! Thank you to all the children who gave up other activities (including the amazing Halloweeen event)! That so many children came on Friday and missed out on the Halloween fun reflects their enthusiasm and massive commitment to the show. It is really appreciated.

The show is really taking shape now - and the children are increasingly fabulous, impressing us with their understanding of the text and interpretations. Here is Bottom arriving back after his dream and greeting his jubilant fellow workers.

All the costume bases have now arrived and Miss Patten has bought the embellishments, so we had fun doing some fittings thanks to Miss Firminger who kindly gave up her time again to work on costumes with the production team. So we were partly in costume this week - and not only ghoulish Halloween ones. Here are the fairies disguising themselves as trees in the forest as Lysander and Demetrius wake up...

The fairies were so good at disguise, we found two fairies not on stage hiding in the cloakroom!

Please be prepared - it is going to be an intensive first week back. We have an extra rehearsal for selected children on Wednesday and then an all day rehearsal on Friday 8th - our last before the dress rehearsal at the theatre!

Have a lovely relaxing half term everyone - and please use it to learn those lines!

Our Christmas trips!

We have had a fantastic response to our parent led Xmas trips to the Unicorn!

The 30 seats available for Twas the Night Before Christmas were taken in 24 hours. We have an incredible 87 of you coming along to Cinderella - our most popular trip so far!

I will be sending out letters for our next shows in early 2014 in late November - don't miss out!

I have had some fuller clarification from the Unicorn now on their booking policy which might be useful to pass on to you before these shows. It is as follows:

- Group tickets - Group booking numbers and dates can only be changed up to six weeks before the show. No refunds are offered on group tickets.

As six weeks before a show is quite a long time to think ahead for most people, this date usually corresponds to my deadline I put in the letter. When the deadline has passed and I have given final numbers to the theatre, I can't change them! Please ensure you get all requests for tickets in to me by deadline.

If people can't come on the day, then please contact the box office. If the show is SOLD OUT, then they may be able to resell tickets for you. However this is only possible if people are waiting for returns...

- The 48 hour return or refund policy is only applicable to individual full price tickets. Apologies for the confusion..!

This means, unless the show is sold out, then it is up to you to find someone else to use and pay you for your ticket if you can't go. I will leave it for parents to contact the box office individually if they can't go on the day.

 Many thanks!

Tuesday, 22 October 2013


EXCITING NEWS! The NT have just announced that tickets are on sale for Elephantom in December at the Shed.

This is for age group 4 plus and is made by creative team behind War Horse. Comes highly recommended from my contact in NT. 

Shed is quite small temporary studio in case you haven't been by NT. You can get 68 bus easily from Norwood Road or train to Blackfriars. Tickets are £12 - there is no group booking rate so you just need to book directly. Shows are daytime 10 December to 11 January.

by Ross Collins
10 December 2013 - 11 January 2014
We have an Elephantom.
He turned up on a Tuesday,
just after tea-time.
At first, the little girl is thrilled to have a ghost-elephant living in her house. He makes life so much more fun! But Elephantoms are a bit too big for houses and before long, he’s causing a lot of trouble.
For children and grown-ups of all ages, the story of one little girl and her larger-than-life friend is brought to life with extraordinary puppetry and theatrical ingenuity.
Christmas in The Shed is about to get very messy indeed...
Suitable for everyone 4 years and over.
All tickets £12. Tickets now on sale for Members. Public booking opens 21 October.

Monday, 21 October 2013


Extra dates have been added for Twas the Night Before Christmas over Xmas. 

The dates are 2/1 to 5/1 11.30 and 2pm. This show is supposedly fabulous and tickets sold out for every show by early September. If you haven't got a ticket - get in quick! 

They are going like hot cakes apparently....Y1 are already going but Early Years couldn't get seats.

Either book seats online at or call the box office on 0207 645 0560.

SSF - only three weeks to go!

If you haven't already heard, we have sold so many tickets for the show on November 11th that the SSF are in shock! So much so they are limiting our tickets to 100 for now. I have written to everyone who bought tickets as we are initially prioritising parents of cast and production team. I will have a better idea of tickets and how many we can have this week so will update everyone then. 

However if there is demand (and there certainly seems to be!), we are planning to do another show in school one evening mid December. Tickets will go on sale for that in early December and all disappointed parents/friends/family last time round will automatically get tickets for this. And if we take part in the SSF next year, we will have a much bigger theatre! Thank you everyone for all your amazing support!

Not long to go now! We are adding in extra rehearsals and beginning work on costume thanks to the production team and our parent helpers. Exciting - and er scary! 

At last Friday's rehearsal, the children had lots of fun warming up.

 We then began rehearsing in earnest. The fairies singing Titania to sleep......

And Hermia waking up to find Lysander no longer in love with her!

The production team were working hard too in an adjacent classroom - and having lots of fun! Miss Patten and Miss Firminger, our parent helpers, lead a workshop mocking up costumes and make up.

Thanks to all the parents who have contributed towards costume - we are busily buying up bases and materials.

Now everyone just needs to learn their lines!

Sunday, 20 October 2013

Our fabulous trips!

We had a fantastic day today at the Unicorn!

Over 100 of you came to see Dora and Henry the Fifth and in spite of the rail engineering works most people got to us!

We started in the morning with our Early Years/KS1 show Dora. It was a simple, largely wordless and funny, story about a lady who just couldn't stop hoarding things - and her bedroom was such a mess! She learned how it was fun to give things away. We all brought something to give too. We all got to go to a jumble sale at the end and choose something to take away. Here is the actress playing Dora and the set designer talking to the children afterwards about why she had SO MUCH STUFF! Am very inspired to start tidying and cleaning out all those cupboards. Can see parallels....

And in the afternoon we welcomed KS2 children to see Henry the Fifth. This modern take on Shakespeare's play was fantastic! The audience were invited to use our imaginations - but thanks to a great piece of theatre it wasn't that hard. Funny, visually powerful and its humour belying its strong and serious message - are wars just full of little boys fighting over toys and sandcastles? Massively recommended!

Hope everyone had a great time!

And onto our next Unicorn trips....The deadline of Friday 18/10 has passed for our Xmas shows. However...

Twas the Night Before Christmas is now sold out entirely - so must be good! If you have booked one of our precious 30 seats on 14/12 within the deadline and haven't heard back from me - you are going! Will send out email confirmations shortly.

Cinderella: a Fairytale at 3pm on 30/11. We still have about 20 tickets left. I reserved a lot of tickets for this (80) as it is an incredible deal for a Christmas show (£7.50 a seat as opposed to up to £22) and has great reviews. I HAVE to let the theatre know final numbers on Monday. If you want a seat please get payments to office by Monday. (Recommended age is 6 plus but although younger children may not follow the action completely there is no minimum age restriction - booking is at parents' discretion.)

Finally, I know a few people couldn't come today due to sickness or other things cropping up - this was a massive shame and we missed you! I checked today for you with the Unicorn about their refund policy in these cases. I had assumed as we are on a school ticket, booked weeks in advance, at either half or a third of price of full ticket then we could not exchange or return. And indeed this is the case within a cut off of 48 hours before the show. If you do want a refund or want to book another date up to 48 hours before then (generously for a theatre) this is possible. Please let me know if you are really stuck and can't find a home for the tickets. NB This is only the policy at the Unicorn - other theatres may differ.

Please can I stress it is obviously ALWAYS best if you can find a home for unwanted tickets with other parents, friends or family. I will try do my very best to help, but chasing up individual queries is time consuming - please bear in mind although I love it if as many children as possible get to enjoy some affordable theatre, I am just volunteering my time!

Thank you.

Thursday, 10 October 2013

Christmas Trips - Don't Miss Out!

We have some fantastic weekend theatre trips planned for Christmas! Our next festive trips are:

- for KS1 and KS2 to see Cinderella: A Fairytale on Saturday 30th November at 3pm
- for Early Years and KS1  'Twas the Night Before Christmas on Saturday 14th December at 1.30pm 

at the fantastic Unicorn Theatre in London Bridge. Please see details of each below.


This twist on the classic tale was nominated for an Olivier Award in 2013. We have 80 tickets reserved, available on a first come first served basis. Please note ALL of Year 2 are already planning to go to this play as a Christmas class trip – only book for Y2 children if you want them to see it twice!

The play is aimed at children in Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 (recommended ages six up). The ticket price (discounted for schools) is an incredible bargain at £7.50 (normal price £15-£22). 

The Unicorn has a number of special activities on Saturday 30th November from 12 noon in the foyer for children to take part in (a special Up! event). On Saturday afternoons these are usually free as part of Up! but this one on 30th November is a special event. Please add £1 per booking per child if you’d like us to reserve a place for you to this event


This is an adaptation of Clement Clarke Moore’s much-loved ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas directed by Douglas Rintoul (1001 nights) and comes highly recommended. So much so – our date sold out in August! We have ONLY 30 tickets reserved, available on a first come first served basis. Please note ALL of Year 1 are already planning to go to this play as a Christmas class trip – only book for Y1 children if you want them to see it twice!

The play is aimed at children of Early Years and Key Stage 1 (recommended ages two-six). The ticket price (discounted for schools) is a bargain £7.50 (normal price £10-£16). There are free Up! activities in the foyer from 12 noon - booking not essential on this date. 

Please note that both adults and children do need to have a ticket. We would love as many children as possible to come and enjoy the show. If cost is an issue for you, please contact as we may be able to offer financial support. NB All such enquiries will be treated confidentially.

Siblings are welcome but please check with the theatre for minimum ages. Children attending the play must be accompanied by an adult with up to four children per adult. The accompanying adult is soley responsible for the safety and well being of the children under his/her care.

Our school will receive one group ticket so we all need to go in together. We plan to meet in the foyer at the Unicorn Theatre half an hour before the show start time – please make your own way there. Trains run frequently from Tulse Hill to London Bridge and take 20 minutes. Alternatively you can take the tube from Brixton. The Unicorn Theatre is approximately 15 minutes walk from London Bridge station.

Letters are going out in book bags this week. Completed forms and payment should be placed in a small envelope marked F/A LISA STATHAM (THEATRE CLUB – NAME OF SHOW) and left at the school office by no later than Friday 18th October.  Please note that the form must have an adult's contact details and payment before it can be accepted. Please make cheques payable to Rosendale Primary School.

Thank you!

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Shakespeare Schools Festival Cast Workshop

Excitingly, we took all 33 children (cast and production) team to the SSF cast workshop on Monday 30th September at the Secombe Theatre in Sutton!

We had a chance to see the venue where we are going to perform. The theatre has a massive stage and 340 seat capacity. Wow!

We had a brilliant and really helpful afternoon with the SSF team. Everyone worked amazingly hard. We were joined by another South London primary school performing Macbeth in the same theatre as part of the SSF. It was really great to participate with another school and see how they are tackling such a different play.

The afternoon for the cast consisted of some warm up exercises, some really valuable drama exercises intended to improve performance and finally a chance for us to show off some of the rehearsal work we have been doing. Although we have only had one proper rehearsal, our cast performed the opening scenes and were brilliant - they had even learned all their lines. We can't wait for the real thing!

The production team were equally busy. The team joined the director and producer for a meeting with the SSF coordinator. We discussed our amazing plans for marketing and costume before being joined by two lighting engineers to talk through our initial lighting ideas. We got some great advice!

We can't wait for our next rehearsal on Friday. And in the meantime, please support the children and buy lots of tickets!

Theatre Club Trips - Quick update

We have got a brilliant 65 seats booked for Puss in Boots at Greenwich Theatre! I have now given final numbers to the theatre so can't accept any more bookings.

As there have been a few queries from parents, to clarify everyone who has handed in a payment for Puss, Dora and Henry V within the deadline has a ticket. I have emailed people who have missed the deadline separately so if you haven't heard from us - you are coming!

Please note don't give out tickets for these trips. They are arranged on a school group booking. This means we just meet at the theatre 30 mins before the show in the foyer and go in together on one group ticket. We are usually seated together so children and parents can sit beside friends. I will send out a reminder details to everyone who have booked the week of the performance.

Really pleased so many of you are joining us this term!

SSF - tickets now on sale!

Exciting news! As you may have heard Rosendale Primary is participating in the Shakespeare Schools Festival, the UK’s largest youth drama festival ( This fantastic nationwide event gives children in Y4 upwards the chance to perform Shakespeare live on a real stage and supports them every step of the way. There are 1000 schools performing this year – and for the first time Rosendale is one of them. Tickets are now on sale for our chosen play - A Midsummer Night’s Dream! And the marketing team have been busy putting up posters!

The show will take place at 7pm at the Secombe Theatre in Sutton on Monday 11th November. Tickets are £8.50 adults and £6.50 children. You can purchase tickets directly from the box office up to the day of the performance (subject to availability) by calling 0208 770 6990 or online at

However! We have reserved 100 tickets at the bargain price of £6 (adults and children) until Monday 7th October. Letters will go out in book bags shortly. If you would like us to buy tickets for you at this price and sit with other Rosendale parents and children, please complete the slip on the letters and hand it to the office with payment NO LATER than Monday 7th October (preferably by cheque to Rosendale Primary School). Please ensure the envelope is clearly marked F/A LISA STATHAM, THEATRE CLUB – SSF to ensure I receive it. As there are four schools performing and only 290 seats available, we would encourage all parents, friends and family to buy tickets ASAP to avoid disappointment. Come along and support the children and the school!

Children attending the play must be accompanied by an adult with up to four children per adult. The accompanying adult is soley responsible for the safety and well being of the children under his/her care. Please note that both adults and children do need to have a ticket.

We would love as many children as possible to come and enjoy the show. If cost is an issue for you, please contact as we may be able to offer financial support. NB All such enquiries will be treated confidentially.

The Shakespeare Schools Festival is a charity and its role is to heavily subsidise and support schools to participate in the festival. Ticket sales are a major source of their funding so please spread the word and get as many people (family, friends, school staff) as possible to come along. We look forward to seeing you on the night!