Tag Archives: bristol

Heritage workshop

I have been working with Bristol Old Vic to devise outreach workshops engaging groups with the theatre’s history. The work is part of a Heritage Lottery Funded programme. We have started by prototyping workshops with family centres that are within walking distance and today we ran a session with St Paul’s Family Centre. The workshop was aimed at pre school (under 4) and their parents.

We wanted to engage people with the heritage of Bristol Old Vic so we wanted to play with the concept of Theatre- both as a building and a format- and history. History is particularly tricky with such young children as time is such an abstract concept. Essentially we played with ‘the olden days’ and ‘theatre’.

We used a variety of play tools and theatre practice in the workshop including role playing, imaginative play, loose parts within a context, craft, dressing up and investigating unusual objects.

We were fortunate to have been able to raid the BOV prop-store and started by inviting the children and parents to investigate and play with objects including an old fashioned phone, bones, candles, a toy trumpet and bellows. This allowed us to think about what the objects were or could be and how they relate to objects today. The phone was a big hit. The bellows proved fun as a movable contraption, also feeling the air. A father talked to us about the bellows he used as a child in Somalia- the size and shape of them and remarked that he hadn’t seen bellows for 27 years! He is going to Somalia soon and has offered to bring some back to the children’s centre so they can use them at the fire pit. It was a wonderful unexpected link into someone’s personal history. The toy trumpet and the telescope were utilised a lot and some children used all their senses to explore the objects. On our next visit we may explore the objects further and leading into stories inspired by them.

We played with the notions of a theatre set and costumes by creating environments with our bodies- the ocean today and then exploring a theatre model box. Using wooden blocks we created our own ‘theatre sets’ including a cafe, a mountain and a volcano!

We made tall hats to wear to the theatre and went on a walk to the Vic, being careful not to step in horse poo along the way! Once ‘inside the theatre’ we distributed tickets, bought sweets (and cockles and pigs trotters!); chose our seats and took turns on the stage. We had animal impressionists, singers, an orchestra, performing horses and dogs, string people and balancers. Great acts, and a brilliant reflection of the Bristol Old Vic programme in 1770! We all enjoyed giving rounds of applause, next time we might do some booing too!

It was reassuring to find that by using playwork and devised theatre tools in a specific context (in this case heritage) worked really well. The different context allowed excitement and wow factor and the embedded interactivity of the methods, plus the fluidity of exercises meant that we could respond quickly to individual needs while also holding the whole group. Next time we’re going to create more ‘stations’ to play in and enjoy revisiting the now familiar objects and format to deepen the exploration in ‘Ye Olde Vic’

Pictures to come soon…..

Developing ideas around play

I’m Malcolm of Mufti Games and I’ve created this blog to document observations and thinking I am doing around play.

I am currently a Leverhulme Art Scholar attached to Bristol Old Vic Ferment and I am concentrating on developing my practice around play in theatre and heritage settings. I’ll be writing about shows, events, exhibitions and everyday happenings that I see valuable to the play community. I’ll also note down musings I have about the state of play in our current climate.

I hope you enjoy what you read, please feel free to start a conversation below or get in touch with me directly.

Heres One We Made Earlier

We’re very excited to be working with MShed, Bristol on Here’s One We Made Earlier, our very own gameshow, based on kids TV from the 80’s and 90’s.

We are collaborating with some of our favourite local performers including Simon Panrucker and Smoking Puppet Cabaret to rehash some of our favourite kids TV games so that you, the audience can play them.

Running the risk of being more entertaining than a night in the broom cupboard and as charged as that time Gordon the Gopher was set upon by a terrier. Here’s One We Made Earlier gives you the chance to fulfill all your childhood dreams.

But what games do you want to see? Mallets Mallet, Knightmare, Run the Risk? Please tweet us your favourite kids TV games and they might make it into the show! @muftigames

Heres One We Made Earlier 21st July, 8-10pm, MShed, Wapping Road, Bristol

Heres One We Made Earlier is part of The Story of Childrens Television exhibition running at MShed from July to September.

Team Mufti in the Fun House

Team Mufti in the Fun House

“Every country, all kids play the same”

Full Circle

Today I visited Heroes Women’s Group which takes place every Thursday at Full Circle Family Centre in St Pauls. I went to talk to them about their memories of play for our Transforma-bin project.

Sood, Angela, Fatima and Belinda told stories about playing in fields, round blocks and up and down stairs. We talked about the differences in play now and what obstacles prevent outdoor play. We talked about free, unorganised play and more structured team games.  We were also lucky to be joined by Soloman who was on work experience. There was much said about video games being a barrier but we also talked about their benefits- how ‘you can be in your own world’. There was a wish for more local green space available to “roll down and stare up at the sky”. The group also feel that young people should be able to access sports teams in St Pauls- particularly Basketball. It was a really enjoyable afternoon and I look forward to talking to more groups about  memories of play.

You can listen to a short snippet of the group talking about wink murder and other games here:

 

If you are part of a group in Ashley, Easton or Lawrence Hill and you would like to share your memories for this project, please get in touch.

 

Scrapstore

I popped into Scrapstore today – an

“Aladdin’s Cave of low-cost, varied and abundant scrap materials for creative play – safe surplus resources collected from business and industry.”

What I didn’t know was that they also have an in house Play Team and run all sorts of brilliant activities.

One particularly brilliant thing is their Playpod.

2012-03-22  playpod launch day 023_small

“The Scrapstore PlayPod® is a holistic process that works with the entire school community to change both the human and physical play environment transforming play at lunchtimes.”

I was really excited to find out about the activities, the Playpod and get tour of the play areas and warehouse space. We’ll be using materials from Scrapstore for our Transformabin workshops, (along with other bits and pieces) I cant wait to get Game Inventing!