Christmas Creativity and Community a Collaboration between Lord Lawson, Equal Arts and Shadon House.

Year 13 Performing Arts Dance Students Visited Shadon House, Birtley on Tuesday 6th December as part of an ongoing Community Arts project. Working in collaboration with Equal Arts, Lord Lawson dancers have brought to life the creative writing of the Shadon House residents.

Over the past term the students have been exploring two stories based upon a fictional character named ‘Bella Stella’ devising an impressive physical theatre performance piece based on the ideas in the stories. The students premiered the piece at the Academy Christmas Coffee afternoon event and again during the Shadon House visit.

During our visit the residents were also treated to a Christmas vocal performance by Beth Keenan, a Christmas Carol sing a long and a discussion with the students about how the performance was developed.

This has been the most challenging but worthwhile project the students have been involved with. Watching the pure joy of all involved highlighted the importance of creativity, community and collaboration within education. An ethos that we are proud to celebrate at Lord Lawson.

Lois Scott and Beth Keenan Year 13 Dancers said of the experience:

“We found the Shadon House Performance a really inspirational day. It was a new experience for us performing in a new space, we found it a rewarding challenge. The Shadon House audience were the most encouraging and happy we have ever performed to. We can’t wait to visit again soon.”

The final Performance of Bella Stella, along with other performances based on the work of the Shadon House Residents will be performed at the Academy Christmas Showcase- ‘Christmas, Past, Present and Future’ on Thursday 15th December at 7pm. Tickets are available from the Academy Reception for £2.00 each.

The event was captured by Made in Tyne and Wear TV crew who interviewed the students about their experiences with the project.

Tune into ‘The Lowdown’ on the Made in Tyne and Wear TV Channel on Tuesday 20th December at 7pm to see the whole news story. To find the made in Tyne and Wear TV Network search TV Channels – Sky 117, Virgin 159 and Freeview 7.

Thank you to Olivia at Equal Arts and Shadon House for inviting us to perform and giving us such a warm welcome, it was our pleasure to perform for you all. This was a fantastic way to kick start the festive season and we will definitely be visiting again soon with some new performances to share.

To find out more about the amazing work that Equal Arts do within the local community please visit

Miss Brown

Subject Leader Performing Arts