17 September 2013, Harare, Zimbabwe – We have been to four wonderful schools and performed our clown show. It has been a magical, overwhelming and moving experience with lots of laughs thrown in for good measure.
We had hoped that over the whole tour 5,000 children would see our show; when we arrived at the rural settlement school on Monday the head teacher told us the whole school would be watching our performance – that’s 1,173 children.
Our next audience was 1,700 children, that’s 1,700 small people laughing, clapping and singing all at once. An unbelievable experience only made more poignant by teachers and principles asking us when we will return and if we do we will be “welcomed back with with open arms”.
I had hoped the show I created with the clowns would make children laugh but I wasn’t expecting the teachers to have so much fun. In one particularly ridiculous scene, the clowns invite a teacher on stage to skip. The children go wild but it’s always the fellow teachers who laugh and clap the loudest. It has been a joy to watch teachers and children alike share in moments of silliness, bonded through laughter and play. A little bit of laughter really can go a long way and having witnesses the positive responses to our performances, I hope it will make even the smallest of difference in creating and supporting positive child-teacher relationships.
I am so proud of our team. Putting together a show in four days with artists who have not worked together, performing in the heat and dust and delivering amazing shows each time. Amazing.
– Samantha Holdsworth, UK artist from fledgling CWB-UK
(for more information on Samantha’s work, please visit her blog, http://samanthaholdsworth.wordpress.com/