A Day in the life of a Musical Director

Dear Reader,

This is the typical day in the life of a musical director…

7.00 am rise and shine

8.00 am plan todays session

11.00 am attend directors meeting

12.00 am run the music session


This is a version by George Asaf and Felix Powell who originally composed the music.

Asaf’s version is composed for male voices, using a lower key. However, because we are a cast of all female actors, I thought it would be appropriate to make the song more feminine with the use of a higher vocal range and using mainly major chords for the guitar and ukulele opposed to minor chords.

Here’s the movement for pack up inspired by the factory movements.

3.00 pm its the end of the session and I always like to send them away motivated for the next session

The birds like to think of this as a Charlotteism, today I said they were all ‘SPECtacualar’

3.00pm get home

5.00pm tea time

11.00 pm bed

11.05 ZZZzzzzzzzz

Yours Sincerely



Works Cited

BBC(2014) Photograph taken of the sheet music for Pack up Your Troubles[online] Available from: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-25968407[Accessed on May 3 2014]



‘A Guide to Creating Verbatim Theatre’

The video below is presented by Robin Belfield, a freelance Theatre maker and the director of Yellowtale Theatre Company. In 2013 Belfield held a theatre workshop at the National Theatre providing a guide to creating verbatim theatre. This video proved extremely useful when creating ‘Sincerely Yours’

Here is a short summary of the ethical rules for your own creating verbatim theatre…

1. Start with a topic: In our case, World War One and how it affected the women of the frontline.

2. Research, Research, Research!: Which included, finding appropriate letters from the archives, visiting the Lincolnshire Life Museum.

louise museum

‘Louise at the Lincolnshire Archives’ Coleridge, E. (2014).

3. Think about who is involved: Discussing and deciding whose stories we wanted to focus on – Grandparents of the company, residents from local care homes and soldiers Billy A. Haydon Lounds & Harry Butt.

archives charlotte

‘Lincolnshire Archive permission slips.’ Mooney, C. (2014)

4. Editing & Condensing!: Careful selection of interviews, footage condensed into one hour!

and the most important for our company ethos…


Upon reflection, the initial process of creating verbatim is the same as our own, however, the rehearsal process differs. The most important rule to take into consideration is remembering to be accurate and sensitive with your material.

Read more about our own devising and learning process in one of my earlier posts, Grandma’s Verbatim

Works Cited:

Coleridge, E. (2014)

Lincolnshire County Council (2014) The Museum of Lincolnshire Life. [online] Lincolnshire. Available from http://www.lincolnshire.gov.uk/visiting/museums/museum-of-lincolnshire-life/ [Accessed 26 May 2014].

Mooney, C. (2014)

National Theatre (2013) A Guide to Creating Verbatim Theatre. [online video] Available from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-a0qNEhCly4 [Accessed 26 May 2014].

Dear Granny Biscuit

Dear Reader,


My Granny Biscuit, found in an old album in the dining room, she was about 25 when this photograph was taken.

This is my Granny Biscuit, she is now 86 years old and is one of thirteen children. The story that she tells in the video is of my great Grandad Freeman(her father) and great Granny Mooney (my Grandads mother). My Granny discovered when it was nearing her wedding day that when Grandad Freeman was going off to war he had left his job as a postman. In the absense of Grandad Freeman, Great Granny Mooney took over the job of delivering thousands of letters from the front line to the houses of their loved ones, sometimes delivering good news but often not.

Great Grandma

Great Grandma Mooney

Great Grandma Mooney took on the role of a Postwoman and my Granny and Grandad found out near their wedding day

Granny and Granddad on their wedding day

Granny and Granddad on their wedding day

that their parents had had a connection from the war, in that they had exchanged jobs. I found this out on a night at the beginning of the process where we were having a game of scrabble ( that she won hands down)and wanted to know more.
I called my Granny and asked her if I could do an interview with her to learn more about it.
She found it incredibly hard to talk about but decided to go ahead and tell me all she knew. Here’s a section of the interview that I will show to the girls and see if we can use it in the show

Hope you have enjoyed having a look at a bit of my family history

Sincerely Yours,



A Day In The Life Of A Performer/ Dramaturg

Dear Reader,

As a disclaimer I will say that this was not my routine everyday of the process as it varied very much with what was needed and other work but this is an example of a few of my days during the process just so you get an idea. During the process I’ve had to balance the responsibilities of a dramaturg as well as a performer, so here you are…

Well, I begin the day by obviously waking up around 9am, get ready and get some breakfast. I’m useless if I don’t have breakfast so I need my cereal!

Then I get all my stuff ready for me to head off to the Archives to copy up the letters from Harry Butt and other letters that we’ve been looking at. As part of my responsibility as a dramaturg, I have to collect the letters and all the research that we have done towards the show.

(Chapman, J., 2014)

(Chapman, J., 2014)

I’m normally there for about three hours, which means a lot of writing and aching wrist. But a lot gets done for the purpose of the show. We’re using the letters as part of the aesthetics of the piece as well as using them within the performance.

After the Archives, it’s normally about 2pm at which point I head off home to collect all of my things for rehearsals which start at 4pm. Depending on what we are doing in rehearsals that day, it may require a selection of our props from tap shoes to sheets to brooms (which was the majority of the time!) to my ipod and headphones. Today we are looking at the ‘Somewhere in France Scene’ so I need my trusty broom.

(Cox, E., 2014)

(Cox, E., 2014)

I head to rehearsals just before 4pm and we wait for everyone to show up before going to the room. We start with one of the many warm ups we have encountered over the last few months to get ourselves motivated and energised. Rehearsals require our concentration, imagination and creative side to put together the scene as it has been one of the harder scenes to stage but it is coming along nicely.

We normally finish our rehearsals for the day at about 10 to 6 in order for us to write a letter and share them with each other. After departing, we all fly back to our nests (figuratively) and get on with any work we need to sort out for theatre company or any other work. As well as feed ourselves and relax a little, but mainly work!

All in all that is my day.

Sincerely yours,




Words and Phrases from the First World War

There were many phrases coined in WW1 that we still use today but many are now forgotten. Try guessing what these interesting words and phrases mean in my WW1 Colloquialisms Quiz!  And for anyone who would just like a quick link to the answers, here they are.

This Horrible Histories sketch about the British trenches shows how many of these words were used.

Gemma Kate, 2011.

Works Cited

BBC (2014) The English expressions coined in WW1. [online] Available from http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-26277732 [Accessed 17 May 2014].

Gemma Kate (2011) Horrible Histories – First Time in the British Trenches. [online] Available from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qzzXPkAdQXQ [Accessed 17 May 2014].

The Great War Society (2006) Words, Expressions and Terms Popularized 1914-1918. [online] Available from http://www.worldwar1.com/heritage/wordswar.htm [Accessed 17 May 2014].

UnnamedHarald (2014) World War 1 History: Front Line Slang. [online] Available from http://hubpages.com/hub/World-War-1-History-Front-Line-Slang [Accessed 17 May 2014].

The Second Minute

Birds Eye View Theatre, 2014.

With references throughout The Second Minute to West Bridgford, the River Trent and the Sherwood Foresters, I felt a sense of pride that these WW1 soldiers had come from the place where I grew up. The setting of a small local theatre worked well, making the play more intimate. It felt like a community of people coming together to watch their heritage being played out on stage. The relaxed atmosphere promoted conversation amongst the audience with people talking to the strangers around them about their own family stories of the war.

Works Cited:

Birds Eye View Theatre (2014) The Second Minute. [online video] Available from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JKUoeVTzPdo&feature=youtu.be [Accessed 28 May 2014].

Day, R (2014) The Second Minute – in production. [online] Available from http://www.nottinghamplayhouse.co.uk/whats-on/other/the-second-minute/ [Accessed 16 May 2014].

Day, R (2014) The Second Minute – in production. [online] Available from http://www.nottinghamplayhouse.co.uk/whats-on/other/the-second-minute/ [Accessed 16 May 2014].

Lewis, S. (2014) Sarah Lewis Theatre Designer. [online] Available from http://sarahlewisdesigns.tumblr.com/ [Accessed 16 May 2014].

Lewis, S. (2014) Some of the drawings I used to make the animations for The Second Minute. [online] Available from http://sarahlewisdesigns.tumblr.com/ [Accessed 16 May 2014].

Lewis, S (2014) The Second Minute set design. [online] Available from http://sarahlewisdesignportfolio.tumblr.com/post/83803970157/the-second-minute-by-andy-barrett-nottingham [Accessed 16 May 2014].

Nottingham Playhouse (2014) Nottingham Playhouse. [online] Available from http://www.nottinghamplayhouse.co.uk/ [Accessed 16 May 2014].

Terry O’Toole Theatre (2014) Terry O’Toole Theatre [online] Available from http://www.terryotooletheatre.org.uk/ [Accessed 16 May 2014].

Dear the cast of The Second Minute

Dear Reader,
This week a few of the birds went to see The Second Minute by Andy Barrett

Mooney. C (2014)

Ellie and I could not fit in the car so we cycled and did some flyering on the way.
The play focused on letters being sent in the First World War ‘around nineteen thousand mailbags crossed the channel every single day and the art of letter writing enveloped the country, as people of all ages and from all classes tried to keep in touch with sons, brothers, husbands and lovers’.
Messages from the front line were sent from the soliders requesting their favourite food and telling their families they missed them. These are the types of letters my Great Granny Mooney had to deliver. Good news and bad. Letters and the delivering letter was crucial, it explored a mothers loss of her son.

           Day. R (2014)

The story follows a mother called Laura who is a researcher and has discovered a solider called Tom’s letters. The honest accounts and struggle with Laura having one of Tom’s letters delivered a day recreates her relationship with her son in the war, who we find out died. She looks for something in Tom’s letters to give her hope and fill the void in her heart that her son dying has left.
We were so excited as a group to watch and experience how another theatre company dealt with a topic that was so sensitive. They performed with such a fantastic understanding of how important it was to share these stories that excited us all to perform our telling of the stories we feel are important to share.
Whilst there I asked the owner of the Terry O’Toole Theatre if she minded if we handed out flyers at the end to help market the show, she was so excited at the prospect of another centenary piece she encouraged our enthusiam.
The Second Minute is one to watch !!
Yours Sincerely

Works cited
Day.R (2014)Terry O’Toole Theatre Website[online] Available from: http://www.terryotooletheatre.org.uk/events/the-second-minute/

Verbatim Theatre: ‘The Last Journey’

Verbatim Banner2

(Pearson, F. , 2014)

In the show we have composed several scenes where we have used our interviews with relatives and local residents as verbatim. The purpose of verbatim has been described by Hammond as follows: “Instead of adapting or repackaging experiences or observations within a fictional dramatic situation, a verbatim play acknowledges, and often draws attention to, its roots in real life” (2008, p1). The idea being that you display the interviewee through the actor by imitating the person’s pauses, inflections in their voice and use the precise words that have been recorded. The idea of verbatim is to present a sense of authenticity because “if you go out and collect evidence about people’s way of life, things are revealed to you which are completely extraordinary that you don’t see coming”(National Theatre Discover, 2014); a truth that can be presented to an audience.

Some regard verbatim as a form of theatre however, as Hammond and Steward point out, it is a technique within theatre (2008, p1). This is due to the nature of verbatim as a source of information which can then be configured into a narrative creating a drama. The verbatim may be edited for a particular section of the interview or can be stylistically edited through the use of other sounds or rhythms. Within our show Lauren has devised a few ways in which we present the verbatim. Some pieces are the original recordings, some are simply spoken to the audience (this is the common feature for the verbatim from the letters we are using) and also we have taken inspiration from Dan Canham and Stillhouse’s performance with using audio devices like an Ipod where we listen to the recorded verbatim and speak whilst listening .

The piece of verbatim that was designated to me was by a lady from the Eastholme Care Centre. We came to name this piece ‘The Last Journey’. I worked very closely with Lauren to decipher the rhythm and pace of the verbatim. We soon realised that the piece was by far the fastest pace out of all the verbatim and so it took me a while to grasp everything the lady said. One piece of advice that Dan Canham gave us when using verbatim was to treat the verbatim as a rhythm. So once I had practised speaking with the lady and the pace, Lauren helped me break the piece down into sections where there were pauses in the speech or slight changes in pace. This helped greatly with translating the inflections in the lady’s voice in my own voice for the performance. Another note Dan emphasised was to not to learn the verbatim like lines from a play, the idea being that we embody the voice of the person, it was natural occurrence and not forced.

Speaking someone else’s words at first can seem very strange. I found that to begin with, I would just say the words in my own voice. It wouldn’t have much tone or emotion involved and very dull, hearing myself anyway! Gradually you have to forget about what your own voice sounds like and truly listen to the other person’s to be able understand what it is you’re trying to do with the verbatim. Every detail in the track matters; the pauses, the changes, the accent, the inflections. That is what makes the person and that is what you need to be able to portray the person to the audience. The person is manifested/transferred through you to the audience. Below is the audio track of ‘The Last Journey’ verbatim that I will be performing in the show and also a couple of links to Lauren’s posts on how she directed the verbatim in ‘Sincerely Yours’.



(Chapman, 2014)

(Chapman, 2014)

Links to Lauren Kirby’s (Director) blogs on Verbatim:

A Guide to Verbatim

Stylising: Headphone Verbatim


Works Cited:

Hammond, W. and Steward D. (eds.) (2008) Verbatim Verbatim: Contemporary Documentary Theatre, London: Oberon Books.

National Theatre Discover (2014) An Introduction to Verbatim Theatre [online video] Available from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ui3k1wT2yeM, [Accessed 5th May 2014].

National Theatre Discover (2014) The Ethics of Verbatim Theatre [online video] Available from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=39JSv-n_W5U, [Accessed 5th May 2014].


A Day in the Lincoln Archives with Adrien

Dear Reader,

Adrien was the kind archive angel who helped us find hundreds of letters and pieces we could use in the show. We were able to learn more about the people who were from lincoln and talked of places that we had visited and experienced.
Harry Butt was one of the young men that we got a closer look at through being in the archives, we read his story and learnt alot about the humour he used and how through his humour he would be able to keep the morale of his sweetheart high.
Being in the archives was an experience, we couldn’t take pictures of the letters and we were only allowed pencil and paper to make sure we didn’t damage the letters or photos. The fact that we had to put anything we took out of the holdings onto protective pillows gave a good understanding of how precious and valued these letters were and that the adventure we are starting on was not one to be taken lightly. The letters contained historical accounts and we knew we had to proceed with caution and be senstive to the topic we had chosen.


Ellie Lousise and I working in Lincolnshire Archives Mooney. C (2014)

Also in the last rehearsal we discussed that we were an all female cast and we had to take advantage of us all being female so we looked at what the women did in the war. World War One acted as a catalsyst of change for women and gave them independance that they had never previously experieneced. We found out through being in the Archives that women in Lincoln helped build the first tank ! Right outside the building we do all of our performances in.


Lincoln Women who built the first tank outside of theLPAC

The were called Munitionettes and Conductresses and in the early months of the break out of war women became integral to the men who were on active service. ‘ Women eventually took on a very wide range of roles in the manufacture of weapons, including sowing the fabric on the aircrafts and barrage balloons’


Mooney. C (2014)

These women played an integral part in the change of women in society, by not only ensuring the country’s surrival when then men were at war but also in the way women were perceived. They enabled a change in society that encouraged women to strive for goals they had never previously been able to experience. They made it possible for a group of ten girls to study at university and produce a piece such as this. We as a theatre company want to honor their sacrifice.

Sincerely Yours



Works Cited

ROBEY collection. (1916) Handout sheet from the Lincolnshire Archives[online] [paper copy] Available at : http://www.lincolnshire.gov.uk/visiting/lincolnshire-archives/[Accessed May 5 2014]



WW1 at The Castle

Dear Reader,

for post

World War One Re-enactment Mooney. C (2014)

Today some of the girls from our theatre comapny spent an afternoon at the castle in Lincoln for a Wolrd War One re-inactment.

WW1 1

Reading of WW1 poetry Mooney. C (2014)

All of their cast spent time talking to us about their experiences and what they had discovered.Stories of their grandparents going over the top and the things that they had read to help them understand their characters better. The period costumes that they wore were authentic and the props they had in the medical tent were all authentic, we were in awe of the objects we were beholding. Medical instruments they used on the front line, magazine articles and postcards that had been sent.

Sincerely Yours




Gone but never forgotten.

Where are the girls of Arsenal?
Working night and day;
Wearing the roses off their cheeks
For precious little pay.
Some people style them canaries,
We’re working for the lads across the sea,
If it were not for the munition lasses,
Where would the Empire be?
~ Anon.

As the performance looms ever closer it is important to remember where our ideas generated from. So a trip to the war memorial in the centre of Lincoln high street, followed by a visit to Lincoln Castle where a World War One re-enactment was taking place, seemed like the perfect way to achieve this.

I found myself completely overwhelmed and quite emotional by the level of respect and remembrance for all the soldiers, wounded, missing or killed in action over the past 100 years. We set out to the war memorial for a photo of the company for our programmes and the sun was shining which was perfect for a photo op. After we took the photo we wandered around the memorial looking at the names scribed on the walls of all the soldiers we lost in World War One, below were lots of poppy reefs from many different organisations with personalised messages to remember our fallen soldiers.

Poppies for our fallen soldiers.

Coleridge, 05/05/2014

I suppose we have all lost someone we care about in our lives, I’m no exception to this. I have my own way of remembering the important people lost in my life, but it was lovely to see that people who never even knew these soldiers acknowledged their ‘sacrifice’ to the war effort. Personally I feel war is a futile effort shadowed with words of hope and peace, when really it causes more hurt than good.

Personal crosses.

Coleridge, 05/05/2014

What I enjoy most about our performance is that it not only recognises the death and sorrow of World War One, but it focuses on the women and their roles in aiding the war effort. We include humour, singing for morale and dancing, three things which indubitably are characteristics of enjoyment. These women were strong, dedicated and loving, without them the war could have been lost. Throughout creating this performance I have been moved by the culture of the era, from the music and dance styles to the act of letter writing and poetry. For me these are things to be remembered and celebrated as well as the bravery of those who gave their lives. The war wasn’t all doom and gloom!

Lincoln Castle WW1 re-enactment.

Coleridge, 05/05/2014


Works Cited:

Coleridge, E. (2014) Lincoln Castle World War One Re-enactment. [Photograph].

Coleridge, E. (2014) Lincoln War Memorial. [Photograph].

The “Lost” Art of Letter Writing

‘A letter should be regarded not merely as a medium for the communication of intelligence, but also as a work of art.’ (Westlake, 1876, 44)

Lost art 1 edit Lost art 2 edit

For those struggling to remember how to write a formal letter, here is a quick ‘how to’ guide.

Turk, 2014

Works Cited

BBC (2014) Writing a Letter. [online] Available from http://www.bbc.co.uk/skillswise/topic/writing-a-letter [Accessed 6 May 2014].

Debrets. Art of Letter Writing. [online] Available from http://www.debretts.com/british-etiquette/communication/written-etiquette/letters/art-letter-writing [Accessed 6 May 2014].

McKay, B and K, McKay (2009) The Art of Letter Writing. [online] Available from http://www.artofmanliness.com/2009/04/16/the-art-of-letter-writing/ [Accessed 6 May 2014].

Turk, G. (2014) Look Up. [online video] Available from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z7dLU6fk9QY [Accessed 6 May 2014].

Westlake, J.W. (1876) How to Write Letters. Philadelphia: Sower Potts & Co.

Women of the Great War

Yesterday a few of us ‘Birds’ went to Lincoln Castle to see a WW1 re-enactment.

WW1 charlotte 1

Mooney, 2014

Upon arrival we were drawn into a circle of people listening to a woman dressed as a lady of the First World War. She was surrounded by people who represented the many professions held by women at the time, including nurses, land workers and munitionettes.

WW1 1

Pearson, 2014

From her we learnt about the roles and conditions of women’s work:

  • Munitionettes who worked in the factories filling the shells with TNT often contracted Jaundice which caused their skin to turn yellow, giving them the nickname ‘Canary Girls’.
  • Many women chose to work under these very dangerous conditions for higher wages, as women could only earn a limited amount in other jobs.
  • Women were a source of cheap farm labour to replace the young men who had gone off to war. Their roles would be everything from looking after livestock, working the land and managing the upkeep of the farms.
  • Other roles a woman could take on were nursing, hospital cooking or ambulance driving.
  • For many girls this was an opportunity for freedom from the inevitable fate of looking after their aging parents.
  • The idea of women nursing wounded soldiers was not popular with the British government. One Scottish hospital was set up, employing only women, which was gratefully accepted by foreign governments. The idea behind this was that if one had to train many new male soldiers to fight, it only made sense to train new female nurses to help look after them.
  • There were over 46,000 women nurses in the First World War.
  • The war gave women new liberties: such as wearing bras, having short hair, wearing shorter skirts, going to the cinema without a chaperone and smoking in public!

It was really fascinating to learn how much we, as an all-female company, owe to these pioneering women. Most of things we take for granted now, such as the right to vote or even going out without a chaperone, came from the liberations the First World War gave women when their men were away. It also showed us just how much the war was a joint effort of both sexes, with the men off fighting for the country which the women back home kept running, with women also providing a huge service in the making of ammunition, defences and medical care.

WW1 charlotte 2

Mooney, 2014

Charlotte has also written a blog on this which you can find here.

Works Cited

Mooney, C. (2014) WW1 reenactment group 1.

Mooney, C. (2014) WW1 reenactment group 2.

Pearson, L. (2014) WW1 reenactment women’s role in the war.

Directing: Words of Wisdom…

During the process of devising the content for Birds Eye View Theatre’s debut show, the three directors, Charlotte, Ellie and I have taken very different approaches when leading our sessions. Having little knowledge in the field of directing, I feel we have developed three very distinct styles as the rehearsals have progressed. Here are three tips I found most useful when directing our company…

In Chapter Two of Directing: A Handbook for emerging theatre directors, author Rob Swain writes;

‘It is important for any director to have what many directors call their toolkit. This Toolkit may include individual games or exercises and it may include whole patterns of structuring rehearsals.’ (Swain, 2011, p.47)

This is true. There are certain warm ups now which have become a regular occurrence of my sessions. I found it is extremely important to motivate the group and by starting the session with a fun and energetic warm up that the group enjoys.

Laurens Iphone 2013-14 838

‘Much needed Caffeine’ Kirby, L. (2014)

This brings my to my next point regarding ‘Rehearsal Decorum’. If you can establish a professional and comfortable working relationship in your rehearsal space, you are far more likely to see the best work from your actors, administrators and producer. Michael Bloom’s Thinking Like a Director suggests,

The most consistently effective [directors] are those that regard actors with respect, tact and appreciation, as colleagues and members of a team. (Bloom, 2001, p.132).

A final thing I have found most useful during this module is organisational skills. I feel my organisation skills have developed considerably since the beginning of the module. In order to gain authority and respect from the company a director must inform actors and plan rehearsals accordingly. Writer of Directing a Play, Michael McCaffery states his views on the guidelines of ‘daily rehearsals’,

With ‘daily’ rehearsals make sure that:

  • you are rehearsing what needs it, not just repeating things.
  • you plan far enough in advance to let the actors know where they will be rehearsing and when.
  • you do not go out of sequence unless you are confident enough to do so. (McCaffery, p.44, 1988).

I’d like to conclude this post with a rule of my own…

Be confident.  

During our process so far at Birds Eye View Theatre I have found confidence is key. Afterall,

‘The director of a play, film or television programme is the person who decides how it will appear on stage… and who tells the actors and technical staff what to do.’ (Sinclair, 1995, p.463).

Work Cited: 

Bloom, M (2001) Thinking Like a Director: A Practical Handbook. New York: Faber and Faber.

McCaffery, M. (1988) Directing A Play. London: Phaidon Press Limited.

Sinclair, Gwyneth Fox, Stephen Bullon, Elizabeth Manning. (eds.) (1995) Collins Cobuild: English Dictionary. London: HarperCollins Publishers.

Swain, R (2005) Directing: A handbook for emerging theatre directors. London: Methuen Drama.


The Personal Touch

Our performance has a homemade feel to it and, due to the nature of the content, it feels very personal and quaint. We want to extend this beyond the performance and to our audience in the lead up to the show, as well as the shows aftermath. After all, it is the centenary year of World War One.

During our research stages we spoke to many people who have influenced the show as we give their stories a voice. To say thank you to these people and to show how much we appreciate them sharing their stories with us, I will be sending them a home-made invitation/thank-you card.


Golby (2014) Home-made Cards

I hope that these small gestures will show how much we value these stories and the people who they belong to. As a company we must ensure that we stay true to them and do them justice when they are transformed for the stage.

Works Cited

Golby, Jessica (2014) Home-made Cards.


How to build your own man!

Birds Eye View How to guide: Props edition

Step one:
– Purchase some pieces of wood and measure out the lengths needed and cut the wood to size using various types of saw…

Wooden frame

Step two:

– Measure out the correct position that you want the wood to be held in.

Taking measurements

Step three:
– When you know where the sections need to be placed begin to nail the wood together.

Nailing together the sections of wood

Step four:
– Continue to nail the sections together until you have the basic structure for your man.


Step five:
– Wrap newspaper around the structure to give your man some bulk and muscles. Wrap a coat around the structure to make your man more realistic!

Finished product

Step six:
– Your man is now complete, so enjoy dancing (the waltz is highly recommended), strolling along the beach or having a quiet night in on the sofa. Here at Birds Eye View we prefer to dance with our makeshift men! Look out for this in the show.

Extra tip:
– Use lots of Power Tape…

Power Tape


Good Luck!

Dear Residents

care home

Dear Reader,

Here are a Few Clips Ellie and I recorded in the Care Centre.

Residents Talking of their good and bad experiences of the war.

Today Ellie and I went to visit the people in the East Holme residential care centre to hear their stories and see if it could inspire our piece especially seeing as it is research and development stage.

The stories of these people were beautiful and melted our hearts. A common theme seemed to be how

‘No one ever talked about the war’

The topic of war was painful for a lot of the residents to talk about, they were more then happy to share stories of family members returning and riding on tanks and their fathers returning from war. However, losing members or having them not return brought some of the members to tears, this was hard for Ellie and I to experience but gave us an understanding of how sensitive the issue was for all of the people we talked to and potential audience members.

Even though the residents found it hard they shared their stories and were so excited at the prospect of coming to see it because it was the stories they had told us, and we were giving their words a stage.

Yours Sincerely



For the People…By the People

The nature of ‘Sincerely Yours’ offers a beautiful space within which the voices of The First World War can take centre stage in its centenary year to pass on the tales of history. Our piece has been created from the letters, personal stories and history of the Local Lincolnshire people during the First World War and has been devised for the people of Lincolnshire in the 21st century. This gives our audience a strong, emotive connection to the piece, a deeper appreciation and understanding of their ancestors. They can hear what their feelings, emotions, fears, rejoices were and listening, in some cases for the first time, to the truthful occurrences in day to day wartime Lincolnshire life.

The Women of Lincoln who built the first ever Tank, Flirt II.

The Lincoln Tank Memorial. Accessed on April 21 2014, http://www.lincolntankmemorial.co.uk/aboutus.html

Our visits into local nursing homes have provided us with some of the closest accounts and most personal stories that we will ever come across in this process. Speaking to the elderly about stories their mothers, fathers and relatives, now passed, have previously told them gives us the most intimate link to wartime Lincolnshire people. They were able to tell us specific times, smells, sounds, feelings they had when their elders had told them stories and, more importantly, the tone in which their elders had spoken. There is something incredibly moving about talking to the elderly about their childhood experiences and how they spoke with their parents about The Great War. They divulge some moments in time which are extremely personal and, on occasion, has caused great upset, yet they carry on speaking as if it helps them to deal with their past and aids them in moving on. We have seen how they talk fondly of their past, almost without pausing to think, as if it were yesterday, and they can remember the conversation word for word without even thinking about it. Like muscle memory they reel this information off and share such intimate moments with us, we have been extremely privileged. To capture this in performance, we use the technique of Verbatim. It allows us to speak in their vocal pattern, with their story telling tone and hope to capture the essence with which they told us originally. We don’t embody or act them. We allow their voices to speak through us.

Birds Eye View Theatre Company walking in the footprints of the women who came before our time.

Emily Cox, 2014.

Works Cited

The Lincoln Tank Memorial. Accessed on April 21 2014, http://www.lincolntankmemorial.co.uk/aboutus.html.

Emily Cox, 2014.


Dear Reader,

Ours was the fen country by Dan Canham struck us all as a piece that we could us in our own show. The way he used verbaitum voices from the fens and used the nautral rhythms from their voices to create beats to dance to really inspired us and our work. I loved the way that they faded up the actual voice to the actors speaking the words because it made the performance come alive. Also the way Canham used the rhythms of the fen country voices to create movement gave an intertextual element to the piece, providing the piece with layers; the pre recorded, the live voice and dance.



Another piece that provided our theatre company with inspiration was Michael Pinchbeck’s piece The Trilogy (Michael-Programme-Guide-Web) who looked at the past present and future self. It inspired me through use of the text and the way Pinchbeck approached different elements into his piece.


Michael Pinchbeck Performance|Physical/visual theatre|Devised theatre Photograph taken by Julian Hughes

Pinchbeck used a live feed so the audience could read what was written on the cards, it was commical and allowed the audience to become a part of the satire. Pinchbeck also stripped back the stage so it was a bare space, the actors filling the space with props and tech equipment.
They put the tech on stage which gace them the ability to control the internal elements; repeating sound cues, enabling microphones. Having the tech on stage allowed them to have a lot more control over their piece and this is something we are interested in taking forward in our own piece.

We talked in our last rehearsal about the prospect of his a live feed and what advantages it would have for our own work. We also love the idea of stripping back the stage so it is bare, this would be to create a sense of honesty in out piece. Honesty in our piece is important because we are telling the stories of the past and we are not hiding anything in our staging it is bare and visable for all to see.

Yours Sincerely



Works Cited

Canham, D. (2014) Ours was the Fen country, [performance] Dan Canham (dir.):Lincoln Performing Arts Centre, 30 January 2014.

Mayk, K. (2012) Audience Feedback from Pulse Fringe[online] Still House Available from: http://stillhouse.co.uk/stilhouse/stillhouse_-_ours_was_the_fen_country_files/HERE.pdf [Accessed 28March 2014).

Pinchbeck, M. (2014) Online Programme[online] Triology Available from: http://michaelpinchbeck.co.uk/assets/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/Michael-Programme-Guide-Web.pdf[ Accessed 30 March]

Pinchbeck, M. (2014) Trilogy, [performance] Michael Pinchbeck (dir.): Lincoln Performing Arts Centre.

Pinchbeck, M. (2014) British Arts Council [online] Available from :http://www.britishcouncil.org/arts-performanceinprofile-2010-michael-pinchbeck.htm[ Accessed on 30 March]


Where we Sit on a Local Scale


Simpson, L. (2014) WW1 Commemoration Timeline

In Lincolnshire and the surrounding areas, we have stumbled across numerous other World War 1 projects which are currently in the development stage.

1. Andy Barrett is putting on a performance called ‘The Second Minute’ at Nottingham Playhouse

The performance is a letter based piece focussing, in particular, on the letters of the Sherwood Foresters regiment.

2. Mystery Plays  project called ‘The Last Post’ at the Lincoln Drill Hall

This is a performance based on letters sent back to Lincoln from the eight Beechey brothers who were all sent away to war. The piece is aiming to be a tribute to the family and the bravery they showed.

3. Events taking place in the Local Museums and Archives

Over the next four years, various different events will be held around Lincolnshire, in museums and on the streets. Lectures are to be given on different aspects of the war. There is one which focusses on the women’s role during the war which is particularly relevant to our performance. Family events and craft workshops will also be held to engage with the younger audiences.

Although there are similar projects around, we are still unique as we are offering an insight into the role of women during the First World War, using the letters that were sent and the stories that people still tell today. However, more and more projects are being announced all the time, so from a marketing point of view it is important to keep an eye on the other projects to keep our performance original and fresh!

Works Cited:

Simpson, L. (2014)