This World Book Day/Week we have the privilege of inspiring around 55,000 school children through our literacy musicals and workshops. The best bit is we’ll get to do it again soon as many schools invite us in to help with other events, celebrations and topics throughout the year!
When we visit a school it’s not just the children who have fun! We spoke to our lovely Daisy Maywood about her passion for Bringing Books to Life…
You bring lots of different books to life – but you must have a few favourites?
I love to bring Roald Dahl books to life, as he was my favourite childhood author.
His fantastical characters (some wickedly naughty, others Heroic) are great fun to put to music; The Enormous Crocodile, The Roly-Poly Bird and Willy Wonka – to name a few.
Special mention must also go to Where The Wild Things Are, which was read to me weekly as a kid. I loved the magical beasts and always wanted to be Max in his Wolf suit.
Now I get to pretend to be Max along with 25+ other Max's!
How do you inspire a class of children to drop their inhibitions and express themselves through dance?
I like to start each class with an informal chat about the book we're going to explore (most schools will have familiarised the children with the book beforehand).
I ask lots of questions about the characters and themes, as I want the pupils to feel absolutely part of the process. This guarantees that they all have an understanding of the story, but more importantly they feel comfortable with me.
If they're happy and relaxed around me, they'll be much more willing to go an imaginary journey with me.
I find that most children are used to moving their bodies around a lot – in fact for some of the younger ones it’s sitting still that might be a challenge! I harness their natural instinct to express themselves freely – and channel that energy within a learning framework.
That’s the beauty of it – it doesn’t feel like they’re ‘studying’ a book to them – but they are!
What's the best question you have been asked by a pupil?
The best question, which happens to be my favourite, is "can we do that again?" To which my answer is "yes please", followed by "only if we make it even better than the time before". (Which it always is)!
What are you currently reading?
I am reading a book by Jonas Jonasson. His humour has me laughing out loud on the tube. I'm also in a play in London so I've been reading our reviews (which I'm very happy with!) I also read a lot of scripts for auditions and for pleasure/education. I love reading. I love escaping.
If you were still at school and allowed to dress up for World Book Day which character would you go as and why?
I would dress up as The Lorax. His message about the environment is very important.