Working alongside the Community Action department, the Stahl Theatre created Poetry Please, a video of poems chosen by residents of local care homes and read by pupils at Oundle. Some chose well-known, previously published works, others sent in poems they had written themselves, and eight pupils from a range of year groups, selected by the Stahl, were videoed reciting them. It was edited and has been sent out for the residents of the care homes to enjoy.
The COVID-19 pandemic has been an incredibly lonely time for many people, specifically the elderly who live in care homes and were denied visits even from close family. Therefore, once we were back in School, the staff of the Stahl were keen to put something together to help those in our community who were still unable to see their families.
• Winter’s Day in January by Maureen Paskin, read by Luke Seymour (L 5)
• Horses by Ted Hughes and Preludes by T.S Eliot, read by Harun Tekin (S U6)
• Seasons by Margaret Evans, read by Arya Samrai (K 4)
• Where Will My Spirit Fly? by Christine Munton, read by Mirabel Agyemang (N 4)
• They Should Have Asked My Husband by Pam Ayres, read by Tara Boyle (L U6)
• The Law by Ella Wheeler Wilcox, read by Ben Groom (B 5)
• Lines Written in Early Spring by William Wordsworth, read by Sophie Pickering (Sco 2)
• Anthem for a Doomed Youth by Wilfred Owen, read by Isabel Macintosh (K L6)
The videos were filmed in our very own Stahl Theatre with high-tech greenscreen equipment to give a background to the video relevant to the theme of the poem. Mrs Turnbull, Head of Community Action, has reported that the video was received very well. See the video below:
As for the pupils, I asked a couple to give me a glimpse as to how they enjoyed the project:
“The poems were chosen by the residents. I really enjoyed mine, particularly the deeper meanings behind it. It was good fun to be back in the Stahl and it feels rewarding being able to give back to the community.”
– Ben Groom
“I had never done anything like this before so I was a little bit nervous! Using the autocue took a bit of getting used to as it was so slow. The poem was chosen for me, but I liked being able to put my own presentation and feelings into the words. When I knew it was for elderly residents of local care homes I felt honoured to be chosen. I wanted to make my reading as entertaining as possible for them.”
– Sophie Pickering
Overall, it was a very rewarding process and we are glad we could do something to make lockdown a bit easier for people who have found it tough.