GADS Youth Workshop 2023 - GADS Gosforth

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GADS Youth Workshop 2023


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7 to 12 August 2023

Workshop week

Gosforth Public Hall


The Workshop runs from Monday 7 to Saturday 13 August inclusive and was open to a maximum of 25 youngsters aged between 8 and 18 on the first day. This year we are going all out for a show - Circus Olympus by Lindsay Price - a gleeful celebration with parts for all abilities. YT Leader Tosh McGregor will be leading the week once again, so you can expect a week of hard work (and fun). We accommodate a very small number of "non performing" participants for props, costume and backstage duties but not many - most participants take part in the performance. Signing up was simply first come, first in and the lucky 25 were enrolled in record time once again. All being well, there will be a performance on Saturday evening (12 Aug) starting at 6pm.

As last year, this show is  
It will only be open to participants' families and friends and other GADS members, by (free) ticket.


7 August 2023

As is always the way on day one, we spent the first part of the morning doing ‘admin’ - paperwork, fire escapes, and signing in and out procedures. Everyone was very quiet and attentive (first day nerves I think!) and we flew through it all in record time. We rewarded ourselves with some getting to know each other games and name games while the adult helpers put up the apron stage - we’re certainly going to need the space once there are 25 people up there! After games we started to read the script. The show is split up into short myths so we read a couple then decided it was toast time. After toast (and biscuits, and fruit, and juice) we continued reading. Everyone had a go at reading out loud, and nobody seemed put off by the silly names! Lunch was trips to the shops, pot noodles, sweets and handstands. The show allows for a lot of gymnastics and acrobatics so everyone decided to limber up and show off their skills. We finished the read through after lunch and everyone put forward which parts they wanted to be considered for. Tosh then had the most difficult job of the week - casting the show - while the participants played a variety of games with Clare. Once parts were handed out there was just enough time for one more game before everyone went home. Everyone has their homework - highlight those lines - and tomorrow we start with props, costumes and painting. As well as more games and maybe even a bit of acting!


8 August 2023

Wow, what a day! We did almost everything you’d expect from a week of theatre school - in 6 hours! The day started with a vocal and physical warm up, focusing on our voices and slowly warming up our vocal chords. While we did that (and played a game or two to focus our minds and engage our brains) Jim and Will put the rest of the set up for us. By the time we stopped for toast we had the outline of our set. After toast was when the real work began: Jim took a team to search for props; Paula and her team explored the costume cupboard and pulled out lots of options; Jane and a small team of artists made some posters; and Will and Tosh supervised the painters on stage. Thankfully the design wasn’t complex, but it was certainly challenging enough for some! Lunch was well earned, and again involved a lot of upside down time and tumbling (of the gymnastic variety). We got to some acting in the afternoon, and blocked a couple of scenes before more painting/props/costume/posters, then more acting, then home time. We must say a massive thank you to all of our adult helpers today - we couldn’t have done it without you! Tomorrow there is LOTS more acting and tumbling to be done. We can’t wait!


9 August 2023

Today a lot of physical work was planned, so we started with a thorough physical warmup, making sure our muscles were warm before the very bouncy opening was blocked. All of the adults were blown away by the flexibility and springiness of the cast. The main focus today was acting - there are a lot of pages in the script, and we needed to get a good chunk blocked in order to stay on track. Of course the cast were totally on board, focused and (mostly) quick to learn what they were doing. Although a lot of what we did was out of the order of the show, everyone kept up with what we were doing and before we knew it act one was blocked! Medusa was beheaded, Demeter was reunited with Persephone and Zeus didn’t get in too much trouble for all of his meddling. We ended the day with some team building (or should that be tangling?) challenges, and a few fun family portraits.


10 August 2023

More acting today, as well as some painting, some costume, some organising and a lot of toast. Paula was back in and with the help of her assistants managed to get most of the cast sorted with most of their costumes. Our youngsters certainly have plenty of ideas, and Paula was simply there to help them find the items they knew they wanted. Our main focus today was act two - some of it we managed yesterday, but today there was clowning around to be done with Prometheus and his brother, weaving with Arachne and Athena, and that troublesome King Midas. Once again everyone rose to the challenge, bouncing between the stage and the costume room without getting too confused. Again, we finished in good time and played several round of Wink Murder - a firm favourite with the group this year! Tomorrow it’s dress rehearsal day - so make sure you read those line tonight!


11 August 2023

What a day. The week has absolutely flown in and is over before we know it. Not really much to report today, despite the fact we barely stopped! The children ran a few games to start while Tosh finished programming the lights and Jim finished setting up the microphones. Once that was done, it was the first run through. Act one was done, then toast. Then act two. Then lunch. After lunch was the most exciting part - dress rehearsal! Everyone was getting tired at this point, but we still ran the whole show without two many hiccups and mishaps. All of the adults were blown away with everything that has been achieved this week - scenery painted, props found and made, some amazing costumes discovered, and a full two act play blocked and learned. All that’s left now is the final performance, which everyone is more than ready for.


12 August 2023

Saturday was the day of the big show. The show wasn't open to the public but we had a brilliant audience of 70 family and friends. The cast were all amazing - from the opening acrobatic entrance through the audience to the closing finale on stage. What a week. What a show. And what a great bunch of delightfil youngsters.


Thank you so much again for an amazing week. The whole week was orchestrated to perfection. W learnt so much about not only performing but set building and costumes too. And loved the toast!! (Parent)

It was awesome. It was a fantastic experience and I'm so glad I got to do it. (Participant)

The GADS summer show week has been fantastic. My children were delighted to secure two of the coveted places this year after missing out last year, which attests to its popularity! The children came home enthusiastic and tired at the end of each day, talking about friends they had made, parts they had auditioned for and how excited they were to go back. The show they put on for family and friends on Saturday was brilliant, the script was ambitious but the children rose to the challenge and did themselves proud. As a family we are very grateful for the time, effort and skills that the leaders were willing to invest in our children. If we could sign up already for next year we would! (Parent)

Thank you so much to you all for everything. P thoroughly enjoyed her first GADS summer school. She was sad when it ended and can't wait to do it again next year if she is lucky enough to get a place again.

It was really fun and I enjoyed it loads. (Participant)

I would recommend it to other people. It's very good. (Participant)

What a lovely, supportive and positive experience for them all. A fabulous confidence building week, with a brilliant, funny and bizarre circus at the end of the week! (Parent)

Absolutely fantastic. The week was really good for L. I’m very grateful that you were able to accommodate her and she could join in and enjoy herself. It was certainly a major accomplishment for her. Huge thanks to all the team. (Parent)

B was so enthused by the week that she wants to be in EVERYTHING that GADS do from now on. (Parent)

I had a big smile on my face throughout the performance. The children came back buzzing after every rehearsal and the performance. (Parent)

It was amazing and really funny and I really liked it and Perseus was really good. (Family / audience)

A huge thank you for all your hard work last week. The show was fabulous. The kids all did brilliantly. It’s such a brilliant week for all the kids, they get the chance to have a go at all different aspects of the production. It’s been brilliant for R's confidence and he has got so much from the week.

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