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The Lions part has been taking part in the Southwark Theatre Education Partnership (STEP) Festival since its gestation in 2004.

In years one and two we conducted ten workshops in nine Southwark schools during one week of July. The work was aimed at 8-10 year olds.

Our workshop, Ruffs and Cuffs and Farthingales and Things, explores life in Elizabethan London and the playhouse through authentic costumes. We begin by discussing clothes and fashion with the children. Two actors are then dressed from underwear up and the children have a chance to get dressed up themselves in authentic costume. In part two of the session we look at the theatre from the audience's and actors' viewpoint and get the children up to do two cue-scripted scenes from A Midsummer Night's Dream. Elizabethan actors worked from cue-scripts: a scroll that gave them their cues and lines only. Then the company of four actors and one musician perform the lovers in the forest sub-plot. We end, as the plays often did, in a dance, teaching the children the farandole.

The response and feedback has been excellent. Good relationships have been formed with all of the participating schools. Townsend Primary and St Joseph's Gomm Street have joined us in our festival preparations for October Plenty.

Emails from children who took part in Ruffs, Cuffs, Farthingales and Things.

Dear Tasmin and group,
We are writing to tell you what a fun time we had in your session today. We enjoyed dressing up in clothes that men would have worn in the past. We especialy liked the part that Peter and Helena played in the play. We thought they were very creative. We learned that in the past only male actors performed in theaters. We also learned that silk was very popular and expencive in the past. Our favourite part watching and acting in the plays.
Thank you from Aundre and Andrew (St. Joseph's primary school Gomm road.)

Dear Tamsin and group, Thankyou for working with year six we really enjoyed it.We enjoyed the dressing up, from the corsettes to skirts, I learnt that the ladies wore a round cushion that went round their waist, to make their gluemiousmaxamous more round and to give them shape. Also I learnt that ladies wore lots of heavy clothing. We all thought you all performed really well and tought us alot about shakespeare,I thought Tamsin played the violin really well. The dance we learn't was really meritorious everyone enjoyed,I also liked when year six and year five had the chance to act in some of the scences. We all thought you were great and we all like you to come again thankyou.
from Shukura and Katie
(st joseph's school Gomm RD)

Dear Tamsin and group,
The workshop was great. The show was brilliant! I learnt a lot of information about Shakespeare's time. The group put an enormous effort into this workshop. It helped a lot by dressing up and transforming into Tudor people. It was very fascinating to see how they dressed in those times. I really enjoyed the acting it was brilliant - it was nerve racking when I had to act in front of everyone. But that wouldn't be a big thing for you as you're used to it. I have to have some consideration for you as it must be nerve racking as well. You were all very creative and imaginative. I think that in the Tudor times the dressing was very smart and you looked smart in them. They used different accessories to make their figure look better like the big cushioned hoops that fit around your waist. The facts were very fascinating. We are very grateful for coming to St. Joseph's school - you were GREAT!
From Doreen ( St. Joseph's gomm road)

Dear Tamsin and Group,
Thank you very much for your work shop we really enjoyed it.
We all learnt so much about women and the way they dress like:
Women wore shifts under the dresses
The only things they wash are the shifts because they are closest to there skin. ECT
I also learnt that women if they were rich wore diamonds and fashionable jewels
I was really excited when we got to come back in to watch some more of the work shop with you.
Out of the women my favourite characters were Helena and Tamsin.
Out of the men my favourite character was Peter.
But i liked everyone really.
I was really entertained by the show and the way you spoke, I liked it when tamsin played the violin
I liked it when we done the dances i really enjoyed it a lot.
From Georgina/beatrice

Dear Tamsin and group, thank you so much for coming, you were brilliant! When the maids dressed up Tamsin she looked in pain. Tamsin looked really beautiful, but she also looked hot, uncomfortable and the dress looked very heavy. The jewllery Tamsin was wearing was lovely. I enjoyed when I went to do acting infront of different pupils (acting is my favourite subject). When you did the show it was fantastic! Your acting was great! Thank you for coming.
Ami (Desdemona)