The first of the five workshops I’m running for Shakespeare Week has happened. And it was brilliant – even on the day there were people waiting to see if they could sneak in and, as I’ve said before, that there has been such a huge amount of interest has been wonderful.
But, before I go on talking about the actual event, I’d like to say a few things to those who haven’t been able to get on to one.
First, I’m sorry.
It always makes me sad when we have to turn people away and put waiting lists up and I am honestly sorry we’ve had to but, rest assured, I’m doing my best behind the scenes to cater to as many people as possible (and there have been a LOT of you). If there’s something we can do to accommodate everyone then it’ll be done. Also, rest assured that if you’re not able to get onto one of the courses then it’s for good reason – and that reason’s pretty straight forward: there’s only one of me!
In any event I’ve ever done what’s important is that everyone gets a decent chunk of time with me and a fair and useful amount of my attention. These events are to inspire (and inspire confidence), they’re to help, they’re to encourage and to educate, and they’re for people to enjoy themselves – to have fun with words. And a massive part of that is being able to work with me closely. And a part of that is not feeling you’ve had your hand up for too long, or that I’m spending too long at the other end of a table that’s longer than it should be. It’s a dialogue and it’s relaxed and it’s helpful. And I’d much rather have, say, twelve people going home feeling happy and inspired, than twenty or thirty feeling it was just ok.
And, on to today.
Yes, it was fun. It was brilliant, in fact. The workshop was called Fun With Words and that’s exactly what we had.
We talked about Shakespeare, his plays, his life and times, and what sort of things he did. And then we did our own. There were potions and spells, there were basketball player stories, poisons, and lists of ingredients and a whole load of amazing stuff that reflected, I think perfectly, the range of what he did. And I’m not exaggerating when I say that every single writer produced at least two really excellent things (they’ll be on display before long so can see for yourselves if you’re in the area).
The Sheffield Star were there with their camera (thank you, Dean); some of the writers were even filmed (watch out for that) and, as usual, the staff were mind-blowingly good. They even forgave me for not putting a water jug back.
And they made me this (thank you Alexis).
And, Head of Libraries, Nick, who was brilliant too, came down to make sure I knew my Hamlet from my Macbeth (and to marvel at Alexis’ handiwork).
All in all a brilliant few hours and I can’t wait to get on with the next four.
And, as for any others, watch this space…