Blackpool's Grand Theatre leading national Animal Farm creative learning programme

Blackpool’s Grand Theatre has been commissioned to develop and lead a national creative learning programme linked to George Orwell’s powerful political play Animal Farm.

By Tony Durkin
Thursday, 21st April 2022, 12:30 pm
Updated Thursday, 21st April 2022, 5:39 pm

Young people from Blackpool School of Arts will join hundreds of young people across the country in learning the true power of language to get their point across in the world of politics - just as prize boar Old Major and his band of pigs do when they are bent on rebellion and revolution in Orwell’s classic tale.

The commission by the Children’s Theatre Workshop will see the local group producing their own digital political speeches in response to enjoying a live performance of the new production of Animal Farm at Blackpool Grand this week, where they will learn top tips on delivering rhetoric as the famous farmyard is brought fiercely to life by the puppetry of Toby Olié.

Michael Holdsworth, programme leader at Blackpool School of Arts, has also given the group a top tutorial on clever ways to strengthen their political speeches – using physicality, persuasive questioning, repetition and emotive language, along with quotes and expert opinions.

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The production of Animal Farm is currently on a nationwide tour

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REVIEW: Animal Farm at Blackpool's Grand Theatre

Blackpool’s Grand Theatre and Children’s Theatre Workshop are also working closely with five other venues to deliver this exciting digital challenge across the nation - Marlowe Theatre (Canterbury), Theatre Royal (Norwich), Theatre Royal (Newcastle),Belgrade Theatre (Coventry) and Birmingham Rep.

Adam Knight, the Grand Theatre’s chief executive, said: “Our theatre team and colleagues from theatres across England are committed to supporting young people. The programmes of work we develop help young people explore their creative voices and strengthen their personal resilience.

"Our aim is to put young people in the lead and to give them a chance to learn to express themselves. Our role is to help collaborate through the creative process.”

Hedda Beeby of Children’s Theatre Workshop, said: “We are delighted to be working with Blackpool Grand who are leading the way in this area. Their work makes a real difference to the young people with whom they engage and we look forward to helping that work spread even further.”

Animal Farm is at Blackpool Grand Theatre until Saturday, April 23, including an audio described performance at Saturday’s 2pm matinee.