Alltheskills’s Blog

July 2, 2011

Oldham Coliseum Theatre Open Day 2011

Filed under: circus skills, Community, Stilts, Walkabout — alltheskills @ 7:19 pm

  It was a gloriously sunny day as

members of the public arrived to find out just what

exactly takes place inside the doors of Oldham Coliseum

Theatre, one of England’s few remaining producing theatres.

Naomi returned to her former place of work bringing Sean with her to entertain the crowds with a little circus magic. The day began with meet and greet, visitors were welcomed by a very tall pink lady and a Gingerbread man (the Coliseum’s very own Peter Wakefield).

Run run as fast as you can—will you catch Peter the Gingerbread man?


Families were then able to try their hand at juggling, diabolo, plate spinning and flower stick. Congratulations to Alex who learnt to juggle today- well done and keep going!!!!!!!

representing the Coliseum and spinning a diabolo at the same time!

Sean teaching in the drop in Circus workshop


Sean also produced over 100 balloon animlas, flowers and ray guns.

It was fantastic to see the theatre so full of people and hopefully visitors saw that the Coliseum really does offer something for everyone. As well as watching a production there is the opportunity to be in one yourself or perhaps you are more interested in doing something hands on backstage? There are also playreading and writing groups and an activity group Full Circle for those over 50. Busy parents can leave their children having fun in a creative drama workshop while they go to Sainsburys and the annual pantomime offers fun for all the family.

Hope to see you all next year!!!!!


January 17, 2011

The first gig of 2011!

Filed under: choreography, Community, dance — alltheskills @ 10:35 pm

Hello and Happy New (ish) Year everybody,

Naomi and Sean are wondering just how much longer we can keep greeting people with Happy New Year? Naomi plans to keep doing it until at least the end of the first week of Feb due to when Chinese New Year falls.

Anyway today was the first All The Skills gig of 2011 and what a fantastic start to the year it was. Naomi returned to the British Red Cross offices in Bolton to lead a cheerleading workshop with a group of female refugees and asylum seekers.

We started the session with a shake out and  learning to count in the many different languages spoken by the ladies. There were people there from China, Zimbabwe, Bangladesh, Nigeria, Italy and Pakistan and it was great that everybody felt able to contribute and teach each other something.

The group then learnt a number of cheerleading positions and movements before putting them together into 2 short chants. As well as learning new performance skills, learning the positions and chants were also a fun way of practicing their English speaking skills.

Learning the cheer routine to music was the part of the session the ladies seemed to enjoy the most (probably because Naomi kept forgetting her own choreography much to their amusement!). There was much enthusiasm and plenty of smiling faces which carried over into the last section where participants created and performed their own cheer routine in groups.

The ladies are always a pleasure to work with and very welcoming.  Naomi hopes she can visit the group again soon. In the meantime it is the men’s turn to experience an All The Skills workshop next week. Ben Cottam who runs the men’s group for the British Red Cross in Manchester has booked a creative writing workshop for next week where refugees and asylum seekers develop their writing skills in a fun, creative and imaginative way.

November 10, 2010

Halloween Happenings in Openshaw

Filed under: Community, Development, drama — alltheskills @ 1:14 pm

Naomi got into character to deliver her Halloween workshop!

Manchester Settlement based at The New Roundhouse in Openshaw are running  new programme of activities for children after school including drama, streetdance and arts and crafts. All The Skills have been hired to provide the drama workshops on this programme. .

This new programme of activities were promoted at a Halloween themed open days at the Roundhouse on the 30th October. There were taster workshops for all the different activities including “make a monster,” spooky facepanting and Naomi’s Halloween themed drama workshop.



As drama in all about getting into character and becoming somebody else Naomi delivered the workshop in full costume and Witch make up-causing only mild dismay in some of the younger children!

Naomi is currently leading these FREE drama  workshops on Monday afternoons.

3.30pm to 4.30pm is Drama for those aged 5-8 years old

4.30pm to 5.30pm is Drama for 9-13 year olds

Hope to see you there!

August 15, 2010

All The Skills return to Sunnyside Park

Filed under: circus skills, Community, Visual arts — alltheskills @ 5:12 pm

There is a saying that “the sun shines on the righteous” and shine it did on Sunnyside Park this weekend….

Tiger Carving in Sunnyside Park

This weekend All The Skills returned to Sunnyside Park, Great Lever, Bolton to be part of the annual community fun day. However, this year was extra special as the park has also secured funding to produce a wild flower garden and at the day there was live wood carving resulting in a fantastic tiger sculpture. The tiger was designed by local children and will be a focal point of the garden.

Kate hard at work with local children making flower

To celebrate the new flower garden Kate worked with local children to produce several large decorative flowers to be hung in the garden as well as individual sparkly/glittery  flowers to take home.

a beautiful flower ready to be displayed

Sean and Naomi were kept busy helping residents young and old to master a variety of circus skills before sending everyone home with a balloon animal.

Let’s hope that despite Council cutbacks this event will continue to happen. As organiser Donnette Foster says,

“These days are all about getting the community out on the park having fun together…”

August 5, 2010

Crosland Moor Allstars Fun day

Filed under: african drumming, circus skills, Community, Visual arts — alltheskills @ 1:20 pm

Maggie from The Lawrence Batley Theatre taking part in the circus workshop

All The Skills have previously worked with The Lawrence Batley Theatre in Huddersfield on several occassions bringing circus skills, visual art and dance to different groups.

Last Sunday the LBT invited All The Skills to run a circus workshop in their “Imagine Tent” as part of the activities at Crosland Moor Allstars Fun day. Participants had a go at plate spinning, diabolos, flower stick, juggling, poi spinning and making their own balloon animals.

As our workshop was only an hour long Sean and Naomi decided to make the most of the other activities available…a rare treat when usually we are working all day at these kind of events. Sean had an ice cream (proper ice cream not that stuff pumped through a machine!) and Naomi had her face painted!

It was also a chance to meet up with a few old friends…the Sound Jata West African drummers who we worked with on the Fire in the Sky event and Kate Woodfield visual artist extraordinaire. Kate will be back with us in a few weeks at Sunnyside Park in Great Lever.

SoundJata African drummers

Naomi getting into character after having her face painted

July 20, 2010

Tonge Carnival 2010

Filed under: Chinese, circus skills, Community, Lion Dance, Stilts, Walkabout — alltheskills @ 12:34 am

All The Skills always finds the people of Bolton to be welcoming and we were pleased that the people attending Tonge Carnival enjoyed meeting Terrance the Chinese lion.

Terrance and his musicians made their Bolton debut in a parade to start the event. Also in the parade representing All The Skills was Naomi, on stilts handing out fortune cookies and continuing the Chinese theme, Sean with his diabolos. The parade had many people from different community groups and schools in the Tonge area and was so much fun that it followed the parade route twice!

After a circus workshop session, Naomi took to her stilts again to assist Terrance, Buddha and the musicians in a short performance at the main stage.  Following the performance Naomi and Sean went into a frenzy of balloon modelling until the end of the wonderful event.

Naomi offers Terrance a lettuce

Terrance takes the lettuce

Terrance takes the lettuce

Terrance decides to share it with the crowd

Terrance decides to share the lucky lettuce with the crowd

March 12, 2010

International Women’s Day celebration at Gorton Monastery

Filed under: choreography, Community, dance, film — alltheskills @ 11:47 am

Artistic image of Viral Video rehearsal

Naomi has been involved in making what will hopefully become a viral video!

She was approached by Nathan Rae of Nathan Rae Productions to produce the choreography for the video which was to be filmed as part of the celebrations forInternational Women’s Day at Gorton Monastery.

Nathan planned and directed the video while Naomi taught the group the dance and invented a whole new kind of notation….


The dance was to an original track specially written by Michele Harris of Audio Boutique.

This video had two goals.  Firstly to be a fun activity for all the participants and in this respect it was a major success!  Comments like

“It was one of the highlights of the day!” and “We had so much fun!” came thick and fast as everyone involved really enjoyed it.

Secondly it was to be a “viral” video to raise the profile of International Woman’s Day.

So if you want to help us “go viral” visit here..

Gorton Monastery

Murals were created live as events unfolded....

December 17, 2009

Art activity with 3rd Stage

Filed under: Community, Visual arts — alltheskills @ 9:28 pm

Since September members of 3rd Stage in Huddersfield have been working with local Artist Kate Woodfield learning a variety of art and drawing techniques.

These include drawing each other, making paper cut pictures, making books and scratching patterns into a waxed surface.

The group really enjoyed the session, one lady saying that Kate had given her lots of helpful tips to improve her work.

The middle of a busy week

Filed under: choreography, Community, dance, Schools — alltheskills @ 12:35 am

Christmas is coming, geese are getting fat, please put a penny in the old man’s hat….

And with the coming of Christmas is the week of Christmas related performances and shows. Monday saw the younger members of Oldfield Brow Primary School drama club present The Snow Queen. They did really well remembering all their lines and stage directions, especially as the majority of them played multiple roles. The group played to a full house without a hint of stage fright which is a huge achievement considering that some of the members were only just 6! I think the parents enjoyed the props and costumes.

Stupidly because she was caught up in the thick of narrating and orchestrating the performances Naomi forgot to take any pictures herself. Hopefully some will appear here soon courtesy of a staff member of the school. The Oscar style awards ceremony also went down well. Well done to Harsha and Wendy for being my stars of the term!

The older group performed a Brechtian style Christmas play based around the idea of Santa being kidnapped. This was a scripted piece but the original ideas and characters came from the four girls. Each girl did very well learning and performing a show heavy in text and stylized ideas…learning their monologues will stand them in good stead for next terms LAMDA exams.

Tuesday saw Naomi and Sean visit Liverpool to meet with their new mentor Mark Featherstone Witty CEO of The Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts.

This meeting was productive with Mark supplying several ideas of how to approach the corporate sector as well as giving us a few contacts. Now to put the plan into action!

Wednesday saw Naomi visiting 3 different projects led by All The Skills’ freelance artists.

In the morning she attended the music concert at St Clares RC Primary School in Blackley where members of the after school dance club led by Paul were performing. The group had learnt a complex routine involving specific timings and not always being in unison but different groups dancing different parts of the routine- the overall effect was very impressive!!!

Paul will be returning to the school in January to work with Year 4 pupils!

Naomi then went to visit the 3rd Stage group at LBT who had been doing art and songwriting but more about that in the next post!!!

Meanwhile Sean was at Salford City Academy where the group he has been working with for the past 6 weeks showed off their newly acquired skills in a mini-performance.

November 29, 2009


Filed under: circus skills, Community, Uncategorized, youth work — alltheskills @ 7:37 pm

For the past two Saturdays Naomi and Sean have travelled over the moors to Ferrybridge to help The Youth Work Company

View from the A1

engage with young people living in the Ferrybridge area. The youth workers Marie and Jo were hoping some eyecatching circus skills would attract the attention of passers by and give them an opportunity to make contact with local young people.

On week 1 we were based in the local park, in the shadow of the infamous power station and despite the cold met a few local teenagers. Flower sticks proved a popular choice with all but Nath was very persistent with learning diabolo-good job!

Week 2 was even colder so we headed indoors to the village hall. After chatting with Marie and Jo last week we had convinced them of their need for a Facebook account to keep in touch with young people and promote their events. We did have several attempts but were hindered by their reluctance to create a personal account—however I think a Facebook page will be coming soon once everyone has figured out the technology!

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