Primary

Primary was an inter-generational performance project which took place between summer 2016 and spring 2018.

Primary schools occupy an important position in our lives. Their role is to support, educate and socialise young people, and for many they are the first institution we engage with, occupying a vivid place in our memory. This can often be as places of nurture, friendship and creativity, although they can also be associated with experiences of isolation and difficulty.
Primary schools affect the lives not just of pupils, but of teachers and others who work and volunteer there, and of the policy makers who work to support and resource schools and connect them to the wider community.

London Bubble investigated the subject of primary schools, and the part they play in our lives, through a creative process involving children, adults and artists.
Training sessions, interviews and workshops led to a co-created performance piece given by a multi-generational cast and choir in March 2018.

Join us on our next inter-generational journey. We are exploring the history of the Mayflower voyage, you can find more information here.

About the Project

Primary explored one of our most important and universal rites of passage: the first years at school. It reflected many viewpoints: pupil, teacher, policy-maker, the ‘now’ and its context – the ‘then’.

For almost everyone over 4-5 years old primary school is our first common institutional experience. Good, bad or indifferent, that experience can colour the rest of our lives. This year we’ll examine the experience of primary school by gathering thought-provoking artefacts, statistics and viewpoints.

This was our 6th Vernacular Theatre piece, which uses a five stage process of research and development to bring together children, adults and artists who co-create a new piece of theatre with volunteer performers of all ages and backgrounds.

Our timeline was:

March to June 2017:
Gathering and exploring material through research, interviews and multi-generational workshops at Bubble HQ.
They will work in parallel with Lancaster Millennium Choir and their choir Director/Composer, Andy Whitfield.
Volunteer training and taster workshops take place at Bubble and with residents of Southwark sheltered housing.

June – August 2017:
Our creative team shaped the script, design and direction from the material that has been gathered and explored

September 2017 – February 2018:
A more formal period of rehearsals, which culminated in performances in March 2018.

Multi-generational rehearsals took place on Thursdays, from 6.30-8.30pm and Sunday afternoons in February 2018, here at Bubble HQ.

If you would like to get involved in our next intergenerational project, you can find more information here.  Bubble doesn’t hold auditions and everyone is welcome.

We would like to thank Arts Council England for their support of the project.

Performances

10 – 25 March 2018
A cast of all ages weave words, images and songs drawn from the experiences of people working in primary schools today.

Created in collaboration with London Bubble’s Community Company and Lancaster Millennium Choir.
Written by Sarah Woods with original music by Andy Whitfield.

“Teachers don’t know everything about school.
They think they do.
They think they do, but they don’t.”

Primary brings together stories from pupils and teachers, heads and caretakers: stories of best days, brutal days, long days and last days, to ask: What do we remember? What works? What goes wrong? And what can we learn from all this?

10th March, 7.30pm (preview), 15th, 16th, 17th, 18th March, 22nd, 23rd, 24th March 7.30pm, 25th March 4pm

Suitable for all ages. All performances will be captioned.

A review of Primary on British Theatre Guide
A review by Phil Kirby, an audience member
A review by Ken Woolhouse, an audience member

Images