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The Blood Stone Project Report Part 2

Working on a script

Working on a script

We were very fortunate to be offered free use of the Drama Studio at Loughborough University by Nigel Wood, Head of English & Drama. This made it financially possible as the budget was already somewhat stretched. We were joined by musician Duncan Lamont who had recently worked with Dominic and the BBC Singers on a similar project in Bethnal Green. He brought a variety of instruments with him and improvised accompaniments for the children's performances.
By this stage, Dominic and I both felt that there was real potential for a piece of musical theatre or a choral work to come out of this work, something which could encompass the talents of a large number of children. We agreed to explore the possibilities of this, knowing that extra funding would be needed to realise the potential.

On 17th July the children met with Jamila Gavin at Belgrave Library in Leicester. She is a lovely lady who was delighted with everything the children had to show her and signed many, many copies of her novel for them! We were truly amazed at the number and sophistication of questions the children had to put to her and they obviously could have gone on asking them all night.
During the day Parminder Dosingh from BBC Radio Leicester came along to interview Jamila, the children and myself about the project for the afternoon show. We had also had a number of positive responses from local press to our press release about the project and Jamila's visit.

Below is a page of quotes from some of the children of Charnwood Primary School, about the experience of taking part in the project.

There are several ways in which this work might develop over the next year. The novel has very strong musical themes and a structure which would lend itself really well to a choral / theatrical presentation, rather like Britten's 'Noye's Fludde'. Obviously, any undertaking as major as this would require considerable new funding but the outcome could be a very exciting participatory project which could engage a large number of local school-children. Dominic Rai is very interested in being involved in further work on a libretto and has some ideas for possible local partnerships. Watch this space!