Walker Talk

Walker Talk

“We all know what happened. We were all there. So just tell it how it was. But mean it…”

In May 2017, a cast of professionals and pupils from Walker Technology College performed ‘Walker Talk’ by Lee Mattinson, a show created as part of a year long collaboration between Curious Monkey, Walker Technology College and The Sunday for Sammy Trust. Since September 2016, a team of artists have been working alongside 40 young people across a range of disciplines to make this brand-new piece of theatre. These pupils honed their skills in writing with Lee Mattinson, performing with Co Directors Amy Golding and Toni McElhatton and Assistant Director Kat Pierce, set design with Nina Scott and music with Niroshini Thambar. The end result was a production that was straight from their imaginations and fresh from the heart of Walker.

Positive, creative participatory activity is vital for the rounded development of young people; not only to improve confidence and communication, but also to help young people discover skills and talents; and broaden their minds to their own potential and options for the future. By offering opportunities in all aspects of theatre making, this project allowed young people (including those not wanting to perform) the chance to engage and be part of a team, work towards a tangible goal, make a positive contribution and learn transferrable skills on the way. 

  

Photos: Mark Slater, John Millard

The final production, performed by a mixed cast of pupils with professional actors Dan Watson, Mille Harris and Becky Morris at Walker Technology College in May 2017, for the school’s year 7 students, families and the local community.

    

The show was a great success, with overwhelmingly positive feedback from audience members, pupils and teachers alike. Here is what they had to say:

 

“It’s been a pleasure working with everyone, you’ve all been so supportive and helped me progress more as an actor. I feel like I have a whole other family now”
– Kieran, performer & participant

“Absolutely blown away…left me and others in tears! Congratulations on our amazing kids!”
– Teacher at Walker Technology College

“The project has given the kiss of life to expression in our school. Actually, not the kiss of life, it’s more like the radioactive thing that Bruce Banner had that made him the hulk. Like super-human…those kids are like super-human versions of themselves. Not just the performers either, by the way, but the whole lot.”
– Teacher at Walker Technology College

It goes without saying that this project could not have happened without the support of The Sunday For Sammy Trust, who not only funded Walker Talk, but championed the young people involved throughout the entire process. Sunday for Sammy’s star studded concert is on at Newcastle’s Metro Radio Arena for two performances on 18th February 2018, proceeds from this concert go towards supporting invaluable performing arts opportunities for young people and early career artists in the North East of England. Click here for tickets

Thank you also to all of the wonderful staff at Walker Technology College, without your support and guidance, none of this would have been possible. And finally, to all of the pupils involved in this project across each creative discipline, thank you and well done; your creativity, passion and drive is what made the final performances the success that they were.

Meet the Team 

Co-Directors Amy Golding and Toni McElhatton 

Writer Lee Mattinson 

Musical Director Niroshini Thambar

Set Designer Nina Scott 

Assistant Director Kat Pierce

Lighting Design Simon Cole 

Production Manager  Jill Bennison 

Stage Manager Rachel Glover 

Professional Performers Dan Watson, Becky Morris, Mille Harris