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Summer 2021 : Sad endings and new beginnings

Updated: Aug 10, 2021

As anyone who has ever sat in an English class at school knows, a story has a beginning, a middle and an end. But what they sometimes don’t tell you at school is that these are fluid terms : a sad ending can also be a new beginning.

Let’s start at the end, then.

July 8th saw the last session of the Senior Youth Theatre group in Northampton. Out of context, this sentence may not seem like a story ending worthy of a Grade 9 in a GCSE English Language exam!

But that is to ignore what a momentous moment this was. I have never worked with a more awesome group of young people in my twenty-five years in education and, despite losing Katie and Noah to Covid bubble isolation, our last session was as random and beautiful as all the others have been in the last seven years. I have said it many times but these are amazing young people and we shall miss you!

But, as I say, an end can be a beginning and, hopefully, in the future a new Oxfordshire Fabula Arts Youth Theatre group will rise from the ashes.

Late May saw the beginning of a project that, we hope, will inspire primary aged children to access the natural world. Working with the Wildlife Trust BCN at Rushden Lakes (and funded by The Crown Estate via Savills), we are helping to make a Lost Words inspired QR code trail at the Nene Valley Wetlands Reserve. By exploring the trail, schoolchildren and families will be able to learn more about particular species that they could see in the reserve while also completing creative arts activities inspired by The Lost Words. We hope the trail will be up and running in September.

The middle of the summer term included a Film in a Week at Winchester House School, a New Pupils video project with Churcher’s College, a Leavers video project with Cheam School, online STEAM workshops in Creative Writing, Drama and Art with the University of Northampton, Leavers Drama workshops with Preston Hedges Primary School and Lost Words workshops with Alfred Street Junior School in Rushden.

And, in further exciting news during this period, we learnt that Fabula Arts has been awarded funding by The Constance Travis Fund via The Northamptonshire Community Foundation to deliver a Remembrance 2021 project for the communities of Wootton and Rushden in October and November. Primary school pupils will have the opportunity to watch a piece of theatre and enjoy creative arts workshops based on the theme of Remembrance, as well as meet some Royal British Legion veterans.

Having performed the piece of theatre (The Snow Goose) already in 2019, this is not the beginning of this particular project. And we hope November 2021 is not its end, either.

In the end, stories are changing all the time and nothing ever really ends. Fabula Arts has headed to Oxfordshire but we feel this is still just the beginning!

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