Company History

A&K has a long track record. Since 1989 we have built drama in theatres, education and community venues throughout the UK and mainland Europe. The company’s early portfolio was based around new participatory approaches to classic English texts. We created Rosie Longbottom Does Romeo and Juliet, Dame Heccatty Weirdsister does MacBeth, the bringing to life of the comatose Geoffrey Chaucer in a special version of The Canterbury Tales, a hitherto unknown Sherlock Holmes and many others.
 
Then we had a phone call from a local primary school asking us if we could think about using theatre in their playground games and a new A&K was born ….. from 1999 we began work with a cluster of schools in Leeds. This led to the creation of our Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 programmes. Enough of touring in the van. We wanted to make enduring relationships with local children, teachers and communities around their schools.
 
By 2000 A&K had been written into an Education Leeds Action Zone plan for 2000-2005 as partners in community development to raise standards of social, emotional, and cultural achievement in Richmond Hill, a deprived area with one of the highest crime rates in Europe. The company worked within the Creative Partnerships project between 2005 and 2007 in six schools as part of a networked learning project in Leeds focusing on literacy and building relationships. Our current work, which has strong links with our roots in making interactive theatre, is on offer throughout Leeds and the region.
 
The company has developed a methodology and practice that is able to deliver significant learning outcomes whilst at the same time providing an enriching creative and imaginative experience both within and beyond the school curriculum. We are often joined by a developing group of community volunteers, many of whom have come our way through links with West Yorkshire Playhouse Heydays, the over 55s project. Our intergenerational volunteers known as the ‘Aunties and Uncles’ of the company visit schools with the company, supporting sessions and sharing their knowledge and experience and having a right good time! We also encourage involvement from the community around the child including families who visit our celebratory sessions.
 
We have worked in collaboration with Aire Valley Homes to strengthen communities in their housing projects. Our project, Paradise Island encouraged school children to consult with their local community on what would make their home a ‘paradise’. Children used drama, animation, visual arts and environmental work to explore their findings and present them back to their community and to lobby local councillors.
 
And now we have a wide-ranging portfolio of work for primary schools as you will see from the project page. We can offer our own version of Cinderella, you could meet the Greeks, have a party with Granny in her Underground Garden, accompany Charles Brown on his journey to work, meet the seventh wave as it threatens to swallow Old Tom, explore the Wild Woods, stare down the advancing jaws of the Worzlum, explore Mrs B’s shopping basket, talk with Queen Lydia from Lyonesse, confront the terrible plans of Augusta Grimknickers, help Abdul Akhtar, the Genie to find his way in the world, keep the Queen of The Bottom Of The Sea company and much more besides. Or you might like to contact us on 07984 540617 to find out more.