Next ....

There's a chunk of work coming up. Luke is Brian Clough in Red Ladder's Damned United, Martin is writing and devising material for In The Woods, our Leeds Beckett University's Research Programme, as well as creating a new office space, and John is getting ready to become Tom Wayfinder and Frederick The Eagle Keeper as well as diving to The Bottom Of The Sea and taking a sideways look at Cinderella with Lou. As Mary Oliver says “There is nothing better than work. Work is also play, children know that. Children play earnestly as if it were work ….. I believe art is utterly important. It is one of the things that could save us. We don't have to rely totally on experience if we can do things in our imagination. ... It's the only way in which you can live more lives than your own. You can escape your own time, your own sensibility, your own narrowness of vision.”  

Add new comment

A big big thank you

Alive And Kicking is in the process of reshaping itself and we have brought on board new company members as well as saying goodbye to some established ones. 
We have welcomed back Kathryn Hanke to work on The Museum Of Untold Stories and Anthony Haddon to work on The Cave. We have welcomed Louise Clarke and David Cartwright who are already involved in a range of work including The Woman At The Top Of The Mountain, Traditional Tales and The Cave.
We are sad to say goodbye to Jess Farmer and Bill Hartley who are retiring from the Board Of Trustees, to Phoebe McDonald as she moves into Middle School teaching, and we wish Ammie Flexen all joy as she leaves us to pursue her visual artist work. All four of them have had a huge influence on company development and we offer them our thanks and very best wishes. 

Add new comment

The Woman At The Top Of The Mountain at Swillington Primary

From Samantha Robinson, Year 3 teacher at Swillington Primary ….Thanks for this morning, it was fantastic! An inspiring and intriguing drama session in which all pupils were engaged and enthused. We are very excited for the follow up. I was surprised at how quickly they were able to get into role and to build up ideas from just a few sentences of the drama.

Add new comment

Alive And Kicking mini documentary

Watch this ....

Add new comment

A sunny day at AAK

This sunny Friday finds Luke off to talk to some film makers about how to shoot a mini documentary/promotion film for The Cave. Bear in mind they have to do a large part of the filming in a tent with 30 children, 2 performers and a teacher or two, all without disturbing the enjoyment and participation of the children. Well, they did say they were up for the challenge.

Add new comment

The Woman At The Top Of The Mountain

We are about to launch this exciting workshop aimed at Years 3 and 4.
These were difficult and dangerous times, and this was a difficult and dangerous country. Build with us the imaginary world of the villagers who live on the slope of the mountain and meet The Woman At The Top Of The Mountain who arives at midnight. Who is she? Why is she there? Where is she going? Share in the adventure, mystery, intrigue -  solve clues and invent narrative;  writing and composing songs are all written into this drama workshop.
Contact us at

Add new comment

Romans And Celts at Hawksworth Wood

With Caesar tied up and unable to protest, the Sicilian Pirates claimed a ransom from Rome. Little did they realise what was coming their way. Once Caesar was set free he exacted his revenge!!!  Year 4 at Hawksworth Wood found out just what kind of leader he was!  Martin Riley and John Mee from Alive And Kicking took them through slavery, the noblity of Rome, gladiatorial combat, a confrontation at Hadrian’s Wall, a voyage across the seas, a long march north, a new version of Roman Wall Blues and the best Celtic Boasting of all time.  
From Mr Smith   "….. this really set them up for my follow up work in a new and exciting way."
“We don’t get many Roman Centurions in our staff room!” A startled T.A.!

Add new comment

Yesterday in London - Trish Cooke - our patron at Alive And Kicking

And here they are at Trish Cooke's book launch yesterday. Alive And Kicking sends thoughts and hopes to the people of Dominica.

Add new comment

Two events in London

Coming up shortly ..... two London events for our patrons, Trish Cooke and Melvin Burgess at Alive And Kicking. At the Dominica High Commission tomorrow afternoon Trish will be introduced by the man who travels making plays and operas all over and who is shortly to move to Leeds with his lovely wife Rebecca - Martin Riley.
And on Oct 5 at 6.30. Melvin Burgess joins a panel at Waterstones on Piccadilly to celebrate his nomination for the Hans Christian Anderson Award.
We don't hang about you know!

Add new comment

Vikings and Victorians

Viking and Victorian Workshops
Martin Riley recently delivered workshops on the Vikings (year 5) and Victorians (years 3 & 4).

Over two mornings, pupils met Beowulf himself, became a part of his warrior band and explored Viking history, culture and mythology discovering the Eddas and Sagas, Middle Earth, Asgard and The Rainbow Bridge. Writing and performing their own dramas, they had the chance to work with award winning novelist and Viking expert, Melvin Burgess, who told them some brilliant tales as well as becoming Loki, the trickster god, who tried to win them over with his lies. The children weren’t taken in!

Martin took the children of St Philips back to the Victorian Workhouse. Unfortunately, they landed in the very workhouse described in Dickens’ Oliver Twist and made their escape only to take refuge in Sweeny Todd’s Barber’s shop where they get a very close shave indeed. In this drama adventure, the children learned about life for children in Victorian England. They learned how to make a pie with very few healthy ingredients with Mrs Lovatt, met Tobias, the snake oil salesman and became Victorian market traders. With the help of Lord Stokes from the Poor Law Reform Society, the children were instrumental in bringing justice to an unjust world.

Quotes: “I liked it because … it was full of drama, because it was really fun, funny and cool. When I acted characters out I felt like I was actually that character. I like Martin Riley because he is fun, exciting and joyful, because he acts out different parts in the story, because he brought it to life and it was filled with suspense and how he let us join in and we had to solve the mystery.”

Add new comment