News from Martin R

Over to Mister Martin Riley ….

Well, this is my first crack at an aakblog so bear with me. It’s been a busy writing week for Alive and Kicking. I’ve been creating something new – an interactive Alive and Kicking style Story Ballad – for Meadowfield school, Leeds, who are taking a trip round the world to Australia with Charles Brown aka J.Mee. Here’s the first two verses. If you want some more you can whistle or book a bespoke project.

Mayday in Meadowfield.
Once upon a time, when was it? I don’t know,
Three hundred and thirty something years ago,
On the road to a moor, near a deep dark wood,
By a beck, a village called Meadowfield stood,
Where, once every year, in the month of May,
They would celebrate spring with a holiday.
That year, the wettest and hottest that any had seen,
The daisies danced early: the grass was a luscious green,
And some children, How many? I’ll have to make a guess:
Seven and twenty - it might have been more or less,
Did something that they’d been told they never should,
They went to play all day in the deep dark wood.
Now, Ian McMillan and me had always planned to do a story together called “The Thrilling Thirty” which got round the problems of tokenism by having an adventure for a whole class of children. Well, I think I might have cracked it – so look out – there could be a series of these – next one in Spain!
 Apart from A&K activity I have been meeting with a composer, Felix Cross (MBE – isn’t everyone these days), who is talking me into writing a sci fi oratorio set in 2080. Makes a change from 120  AD anyway – but I had a fabulous time with Crowheart and The Lost Legion in Stockton on the Forest – Twilight session with the children and parents – being Black Angus with Phoebe Gann. Fantastic parents – loads of fun – special thanks to Mad Meg and Chief warrior Longshanks, two parents who really know how to do interactive!!!
Thanks MR. Watch out for the next aakblog from Mister Luke Dickson
Best Wishes


Lighthouse Island visits 4RC at Clapgate Primary

Here's what they say .....
"We liked everything because they all joined in everything as a team ...... when we did our lighthouse designs ..... when we were helping Tom find his happy side ... we all got to take part ....we did loads of fun things .... everyone needs to act and be a new character .... they made a fisherman's jig .... it was joyful because everyone had their own part in it."
Thank you 4 RC.

Happy NY again!

Crowheart is on the road in the capable hands of Luke Dickson and Phoebe Gann, Lighthouse Island is about to be launched by Kathryn Hanke and Anthony Haddon, and I am working my way steadily through some of the chox Muriel seemed to acquire over Christmas!

Martin Riley’s birthday tomorrow and Kathryn’s on Tuesday and lo and behold Kathryn and I will be off to The Bottom Of The Bottom Of The Sea on Friday.
Rehearsals for Lighthouse Island have been going on all last week following a development period before Christmas.  It’s been a mixture of using material already processed over quite a long period in which I have been developing the idea with Richard Perkin, Martin Riley, Kathryn Hanke, Luke Dickson, Richard Ormrod and Manuela Berndt and about 500 children in Leeds and York! And now here’s the opportunity to move it on.
Lighthouse Island comes from stays in The Western Isles with my wife Muriel and the dogs, from fishing with my father, and from the poetry of Anna Adams, the paintings of Norman Adams and Willie Fulton and the photography of Philip Plisson. Emma Williams is  putting the finishing design touches to the big green bag full of gear and Anthony and Kathryn have been inventing new lines of narrative alongside the development of the central characters, Old Tom and Meg, the Lighthouse Keeper, ready to meet children from Years 2, 3 and 4.
Looks like they were enjoying themselves!!!! Even though they are clinging onto the ceiling!!!!

Crowheart, Bottom and Lighthouse Island are open for bookings right through and into the summer so please get in contact if you would like to know how we might work with children from Reception to Year 6 along with their families and out of school communities.



Hey  …. Hello again   …. Yo …. Happy New Year and here, as promised in the dim and distant past before turkey no it wasn’t chicken yes it was time, is your very first AAKBlog for 2016.
Off we go back into Crowheart, on into Lighthouse Island, forward into The Bottom of The Sea, turning a corner into The Victorians, slipping through time and space into The Museum Of Untold Stories and they are all open for booking so please spread the word. Lots of info at
Luke has been scraping other people’s mud out of Kirkstall Valley after the Leeds floods, Martin has been bemoaning lack of IT access because of the York floods but at least he was sandbagged effectively, I have been getting ready to free Charles Brown from the FO from the last time he was in the cupboard, Anthony and Kathryn are warming up to face the waves (not an AAK ritual just an image from Lighthouse Island), Phoebe has been away for Christmas, Stella has been walking the dog and lovely she is too, and Emma has been painting furiously.
Welcome to new TWAAAKer Jill McMinn who offered us storage space in her garage before she saw how much we have got !!!!! And yes we are still looking.
Apart from that it’s all been quiet really.
Here’s a reminder of the moment before Kathryn turns into the Skipper in yellow fisherman’s gear. And hello to you all.

So here we nearly are ....

Just finished writing the cards. Got to leave parcel of Lighthouse Island materials for Emma at the Playhouse. Buy stamps. Hope the car gets through the MOT. Remember to send contracts for Crowheart, Bottom, Lighthouse Island and The Museum Of Untold Stories all of which are on tour in the new year. Wish all blog readers a Happy Christmas and say goodbye until the new year (unless our bid for at least £50,000 from Andrew Lloyd Webber gets approved in which case you will hear the shout so no blog necessary. Come to think of it we haven't applied to ALW so no chance of that shout shouting!)
Meanwhile .... enough - except here's some Crowheart energy in the pic from White Laith Primary!

And in December we are !!!!

Crowheart is in its last week of this half of the touring - returning after Christmas. Here's a reminder of the early stage.
Lighthouse Island is into design planning with Emma Williams and reworking planning ready for Ant Haddon and Kathryn Hanke to create the next phase of LIslanding.

Watch out December, here we come!

We've been dashing around at AAK.
Meadowfield Oceans project, Crowheart around Leeds and just about to go to North Yorkshire, Lighthouse Island having a try out ready for Kathryn and Anthony to take it on in the new year and The Museum Of Untold Sgtories getting a rewrite ready for work in Bradford and Hawksworth.
And here's a Crowheart reminder pic. Impressive eh!!!! Wonder what Luke's children think of him in this outfit!!!!

On into October

Hello again to you and hello again to The Bottom Of The Bottom Of The Bottom Of The Sea which begins a short autumn tour this week before launching into a longer stint in the new year. Bottom is a half day adventure for Nursery, Reception, Year 1 and occasionally 2. 
Like to find out more or visit us? Join Kathryn Hanke and John Mee as we cross the fields, climb over the mountains and down to the harbour where we'll meet Old Tom and his friend The Skipper who needs us to crew her boat, a boat whose sails we'll hoist and decks we'll scrub, before it takes us out into a watery new world – a world of swimming, mermaids, magic seashells and story telling with The Queen Of The Bottom Of The Sea.

Last days of September

Crowheart is really underway now with its first run of the two day piece complete and Phoebe and Luke are already off into the second group of schools.
…. and I’m in Meadowfield Primary living as Giles the Goosekeeper on this island. Will let you know how it goes.

Off into day two of Crowheart

Crowheart by Alive And Kicking's Martin Riley is now up and running. This week Luke Dickson (Gaius the Roman soldier and a hundred other roles) and Phoebe Gann (Briacca Crowheart the Celtic warrior and a hundred other roles) along with fifty children and their teachers in Belle Isle Leeds are off into day two of this two day primary school year 4/5/6 interactive adventure. As the forces of the Romans and the Celts bear down upon them how will they survive? And how will they hide the Eagle of the Ninth? Bookings on 0113 265 8631.