GADS Youth Workshop 2017 - GADS Gosforth

Go to content

Main menu:

GADS Youth Workshop 2017


Arabian Nights
by Matthew Harper

We are pleased to acknowledge a grant to support this workshop from the
Stobbart Group Grassroots Grants Fund via the Cumbria Community Foundation

Workshop week
7 to 12 August 2017
Gosforth Public Hall

The workshop began on Mon 7th Aug and ran from 10 am to 4 pm daily. It was open to anyone aged 8 - 18 at the start of the week and was fully subscribed. We were delighted to see some new faces and welcome back some regulars. There was a show at the end of the week at 7pm on Sat 12 August. This was mainly for friends and family, but was also open to the public.

Day 1 - Monday 7 August 2017

Today we were busy right from the start.  After getting to know each other, we read through the script and ate toast. After more reading, parts were allocated at lunchtime and rehearslas began straight after that.
Those not rehearsing were busy making posters to advertise the show, although the glitter glue was a bit of a failure. We also rummaged through the cupboard to find some of the props we need and found a cloth that we can use to set the scene on stage.  We even had time to get out the lighting gear and start learning how to use it. Busy busy busy and more tomorrow.  We still need to make the stage bigger and put up some more scenery. So no painting yet, but we may well need some old clothes for painting on Wednesday.

Day 2 - Tuesday 8 August 2017

After a few games to warm up , we had our first singing rehearsal. We also tried on several costumes - some of which we will use and some just for fun.
We also ran through the play again on stage and some of us knew most of our lines already - very impressive. Some of the lights got connected and we started to light some of the scenes, ready to programme the lighting desk. And by the end of the day, we had the apron stage up to give us more room and some side scenery ready to paint. And did we mention toast? There is always toast, and we will need two loaves tomorrow to keep our energy up.
Painting and more rehearsal tomorrow ready for scripts down on Thursday. It's going well so far.

Day 3 - Wednesday 9 August 2017

After the usual games to warm up, there was more rehearsing and more toast. We designed some scenery for the sides of the stage and started painting it. We also had visitors: Jude brought some genuine articles from the Middle East to give us some inspiration for the set decoration, and our local PCSO Dawn also came to see us. The Police Community Fund recently gave us a whopping £2,000 towards our new lighting equipment so Dawn came to see what we had bought and took a group photo for the Police Facebook page. We also set some of the lighting effects and started to programme them into the new desk. Some groups even started to decorate their scenery flats.  The afternoon got a bit hyper with all the energy and activity - maybe marshmallows don't make a very good lunch after all.

Day 4 - Thursday 10 August 2017

Hectic. Games to warm up, a complete run through without scripts - not perfect but very inpressive.  Toast (there is a theme developing here). Another complete run through.  Lunchtime - during which some of the rather late light and sound work can be carried out. Painting - I'm not sure if the scenery is finished, but we have run out of time so it must be - the paint and dust sheets have gone away.  More work on the lights and sound. More toast? (No idea actually).  And some more rehearsals on the floor while the paint was drying on stage and some more light and sound equipment was rigged. There is still so much to do that it is hard to believe there will be a show on Saturday. But we have invested so much in this so far, the show must go on. Now there's a phrase that could catch on ....

Day 5 - Friday 11 10 August 2017

Dress rehearsal today and the start of the day in the hall was eerily quiet. It was just about empty. But the supper room was buzzing with the cast getting their make-up and costumes ready. There was a break for toast (as if anything could disrupt that) and the dress rehearsal began. What can we say about that other than brilliant?   A few lines to polish, a few actions to add, a bit louder in places - but what a fantastic achievement. Loads of photos, not all in focus because we were under the lights, and I hope we aren’t giving too much of the plot away, but the performance tomorrow should be brilliant. Well done everyone - a round of applause and a round of toast. We are ready to go.


Feedback from some of the parents and participants


It is not always easy to find holiday activities that suit a 13 year old boy but our son loves meeting up with friends from previous years and the age range seems to bring out the best in all of them.

First of all I would like to thank you for a wonderful time at gads workshop. I really enjoyed acting and meeting lots of new people and making new friends.

First of all I would like to thank you for an amazing week I had loads of fun and would love to do it again next year. My favourite bit was making new friends and socialising more.

This was my son's first time on the workshop and he certainly enjoyed himself. He was exposed to a wide range of new experiences and learned such a lot. I know he loved learning about the lighting, music preparations and other back stage experiences. As the week developed and he started to make new friends his confidence grew.

All in all I felt the whole thing was a superb educational experience - not just about acting or learning their lines.  And then to top it all off… the performance.  WOW.  They were professional, funny, committed and above all you could tell they were enjoying it - which was fantastic to see.

I feel that the workshop is a fantastic opportunity for young people. I do however feel that, if you are willing to accept all children including those with special educational needs, there should be an adult with the knowledge or training needed. I personally would have no problem in paying a bit more for the week if it was needed to fund staffing.

There isn't much locally for children to do but the workshop is local and the kids all seem to enjoy the whole process from start to finish.

Another fantastic workshop. Both had a great week with a brilliant end performance. Looking forward to next year.

I have done this for 4 years and every year it gets better. We always have lots of fun and learn so much about drama, painting, publicity, lights, sound and all the other things needed to perform, as well as making lots of new friends.

The week was thoroughly enjoyed, they felt secure and grew in confidence, especially my son. He started the week with apprehension but came home the first day beaming with a part in several scenes and his confidence grew throughout.

The girls had a fabulous time during the workshop. It was great to see my younger daughter move from ‘hiding’ back stage last year to stepping out and taking on a part this year.  Her confidence on stage and delivering her lines with great character was a joy.  My older daughter had gained enough confidence to take on a part at very short notice and still add her own flair and style to it.  She also enjoyed all the games that were clearly designed to get them trying out new styles and ways of acting.

This is our third year at the GADS Workshop and each year we have been amazed by what can be achieved in a week. The fun, friendly and supportive atmosphere of the GADS summer school really helped her.

It was obvious that they had had fun during the week’s activities and, certainly on the basis of my daughter’s experience, how much they had learnt and benefited from the process. This had addressed not only performing, but had included set design and preparation, sound and lighting, the selection of costumes and no doubt much else.

My son loved every minute. The whole week was well organised, great fun and clearly very successful by the wonderful show that the children put on at the end of the week.  It exceeded my expectations in every way and he can't wait to do it again!  So much hard work and care clearly gone into encouraging the children and looking after them too, making sure they were safe.



Contact GADS
Home Page
Back to content | Back to main menu