Right at the end of the 2015/16 school year, students at Excelsior made Blanks, in which school becomes a computer game and the students are the players. (If you haven’t seen it yet, where have you been? Watch it here now.)
When we got back after the summer holidays, our Young Writers’ City-ers were still full of chat about computer games and so we took the opening line from the film “The city is a game, and we are the players” to inspire a new term of work.
During the Autumn term of 2016, playwright and poet Bob Beagrie, rapper and MC Fred Phethean, songwriter Liz Corney and theatre director Ruth Johnson worked with pupils in Y8 and 9 at Hadrian School, Excelsior Academy.
Using the theme The City is a Game, the students wrote poems, raps, and songs that represent how they navigate Newcastle and their day-to-day lives as if they were navigating the rules of a game.
Just before the Christmas holidays, students performed all of their work to their peers. There was singing, rapping, drum-playing, spoken word performance, and even a cameo from poet Bob Beagrie doing some pretty impressive martial arts. (Like a game avatar might do – ya get it?)
Poems written with Bob are being collated into an anthology as we speak, but you can listen to the songs written with Liz here.