Summer Term 2003
This summer, we concentrated on Paula's story, which explains about
Paula's childhood and how she and her family were treated by others.
Paula has Cerebral Palsy. She is severely disabled and is in a
wheelchair. She can't speak or use her hands properly. Her story
talks about how she was ridiculed by people and her parents told
that she wouldn't live to see her 20th birthday. Her brother and
sister were picked on at school, mainly because of Paula. Paula
and her family managed to fight through all of this. Chicken Shed
realised what an Intelligent lady she was. She now writes songs
and scripts for the Chicken Shed theatre company. Her work writing
the script for her story has made me feel that she is someone to
look up to, rather than to look down on and ignore.
We rehearsed Paula's story and perfected it for our end of term
performance. The performance involved singing, dancing and acting.
I played the part of professor, who told Paula's mum that Paula
should be placed in an "institution". My part went something
Narrator: We had to take Paula to a mental hospital. "Harpabury
Mental Hospital". There was a psychologist there. A professor.
He made a beeline for Paula.
(The professor makes for Paula's pram with an excited look on his
face. He grabs her and holds her up his students to see. During
the following the students take notes and nod and smile, repeating
everything he says under their voices)
Professor: Here we have a child with "Cerebral Palsy"!
(Students "Ohh" and "Ahh", impressed by the
big words the professor is using!) Note the small circumference
of her head. She cannot hold her head up. and the way her leg rotates
the wrong way. She suffers "Spasms". (Students "Ohh"
and "Ahh" again. The Professor puts Paula back into her
pram and turns to her mum) Are you the mother? Your baby is going
to be VERY difficult to look after. My advice to you would be to
have her placed in an institution. Leave her here! Just leave her
Jan (Paula's mum): (looking round the room. It is clear that's
it's not the patients in the hospital that makes the place scary
but the students and the professor!) Leave her here? Leave her here?
What, in this place?
Professor: (crossly) But Mrs Rees! She will never recognise you
as her mother! She will never be able to give you what a mother
wants from her child!
Jan: But she's giving me so much. Paula's giving me so much! And
I'll settle for what she has to give!
(The professor backs away looking shocked while Jan says these
words. Jan storms out. The professor goes over and is comforted
by his students)
We all had great fun and I think the audience loved it too!
This term I feel I've really improved with my acting, singing and
dancing. Paula's story made me feel sad that people can be so cruel
but happy to think that after all she's been through, Paula can
do something positive like this. I've been through some bad times
but they don't even touch on Paula's experiences. I am honoured
perform her story.
4th September 2003
Shed Mk are really busy this month! We've got two performances
at the Stable's theatre, one for MK Heroes 2003 and the other a
gala evening. More on this coming soon!
17th September 2003
We have been so busy these past two sessions, getting ready for
our performance at MK Heroes 2003 on Thursday. We will be performing
two songs, "Life is Good" and "Do not let the anger".
Watch this space for a report on how it goes! ;-)
19th September 2003
Last night's MK Heroes 2003 was great! I arrived a bit early but
everyone soon turned up. I helped Toby Friedner out with the rehearsals
while I was waiting. We spent an hour in the green room, drinking
coke and water flavoured with lemon and eating crisps.
At about half past seven, we were called for rehearsal. Things
went well, once we had sorted out where we were going to stand!
After that, we listened to the people filing into the auditorium
and quietly chatted amongst ourselves. Everyone seemed really nervous,
especially when someone commented how many people there were!
At quarter to nine, we lined up beside the the stage and waited.
Two minutes later, we were on. Everyone's nervousness seemed to
disappear and we left the stage to a standing ovation. Toby embarrassed
me as we left, saying "That was Shed MK and among them was
one of last years finalists, Matthew Alden-Farrow!"
When the winner of MK Heroes 2003 was announced and the audience
had left their seats, everyone else filed out via the stage door,
while I sneaked up through the auditorium to join my Parents at
We all had great fun and I don't think I can wait for our second
public performance, on Wednesday.
30th March 2004
Big news! I've been accepted as a youth support worker with Shed
MK! This means I'll be helping out with the children's sessions,
listening to their ideas and giving them encouragement. I'm really
proud that I've been given the responsibility.
My first session as a youth support worker is on the 20th April.
I can't wait!
20th April 2004
Tonight was my first evening as a youth support worker. I arrived
at around 5:00 to sign in. As the clock ticked round towards 5:30,
the hall got noisier as the children arrived. When the session started,
I sat down in my designated group and met the children I would be
The first thing we did was learn a song from the play we're performing
in November, called "Cloud Cuckoo Land". It was here I
discovered how enthusiastic all the children were. They all tried
their hardest and nearly raised the roof!
Next up, we discussed how we could simulate different types of
weather with our bodies and voices. The children came up with some
really good ideas here. The new children, who had been a little
nervous at first, had mostly settled down by now. I'd settled down
too. I'd been a bit nervous to start with, but was really enjoying
At 7:00, the session finished. After a quick discussion with the
helpers about how we thought the session had gone, we had a break
before the youth theatre started at 7:30.
I had a really great time tonight, and can't wait for next week!
28th September 2004
Tickets for Shed MK's First big production "Cloud Cuckoo Land"
are now on sale! For more details, go here! To learn more about
the production, click here.