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Monday, 25 November 2013

EXCITING NEWS!! Fairy Tale Twists - The BALLET!

THE THREE MAGIC MICE from my Fairy Tale Twists series (published by Orchard Books) is being transformed into a ballet! 
The fabulous Balletomane, a self-funded company of volunteer dancers (many of whom have non-dance related careers, from architects to social workers!) are dedicated to bringing ballet to those with limited access to the theatre, and will perform their new ballet in public libraries free of charge to children aged 5-7 in the new year, even offering post performance workshops during which children will explore story-telling and literacy themes through movement and dance.
I was lucky enough to be invited along to a rehearsal and have to say I was completely blown away! They are just fantastic, I was so impressed by their talent and professionalism, and I am so honoured that they've chosen one of my books. It really was just magical watching the characters come to life in the sneaky peek I saw, and I cannot wait to see the whole performance - do let me know if you'd like them to perform at a library near you!! The ballet is already fully choreographed, however they are in desperate need of funds for costume, sets, props and transport, and this is how you can help! Click here for more details

What They Need & What You Get

They are aiming to raise £2000 through this indiegogo campaign:

28 sets of costumes

Back cloths and sets
Transport -- for the sets and costumes 
to and from performances
They appreciate any help they can get, and as a token of thanks, have some fantastic perks lined up, including signed pointe shoes from company members, and a chance to watch their dress rehearsal and meet and greet dancers.  

About Balletomane
Balletomane was established in 2005, dedicated to bringing free, in-house classical ballet performances to those who are elderly, disabled, with limited access to the theatre, or suffering from illness or financial hardship. We bring performances to many places in Greater London, such as elderly care homes, disabled groups, specialist schools and public libraries.

Since the founding of the company, we have performed The Nutcracker (2006 - 2008) and The Sleeping Beauty (2009 - 2012), to various libraries and schools in the Greater London area. The performances and workshops have always been free for the audience as our aim is to bring ballet to those who would not be able to access it otherwise.

The company is currently self-funded. Our members are volunteers and many have non-dance related careers. We meet every weekend to rehearse, and the company members all contribute to the hiring of weekly rehearsal space. Any surplus goes towards other costs such as costumes and props. Therefore any donations are very gratefully received.

For The Three Magic Mice, we would like to bring the highest level of performance to our audience. We are therefore setting up this campaign to raise funds so we can put on our most spectacular show ever.

Friday, 22 November 2013

Stockport's Mad About Books!

I am incredibly thrilled and honoured to announce that my novel Someone Else's Life was awarded the Stockport Mad About Books Award for Key Stage 4. It's my first award, and my first novel, and the result was strictly embargoed until the night - then announced at the most glitzy Oscar-like ceremony I've ever seen. It was truly incredible, with prizes awarded to pupils whose reading had improved the most, as well as authors and illustrators.
A red carpet led up to the entrance of the gorgeous Plaza Theatre in Stockport, which was soon filled with hundreds of pupils from surrounding schools, their teachers and librarians, members of the council, and even the mayor, all dressed to the nines, so of COURSE I had to buy a new dress too (When else am I going to get to wear a dress like that?), coming together to celebrate the joy of reading.
It was breath-taking, and made all the more special by the fact that the winning books were voted for by the pupils themselves - and the prizes were a works of art created by the pupils, inspired by the winning books.
With Rit McErlean, who announced the award, and Natasha Brierley,
 the artist who created the prize artwork for Someone Else's Life.
It was clear that the real champions of the evening were books and reading - and what a thrill that was, in contrast to the library closures happening in so many towns around the country. I am in awe of Stockport council, schools and librarians, for valuing books so highly, for engaging pupils with them so creatively, and for orchestrating a truly special evening - one I'll remember for the rest of my life.
With other Winners: Thomas Taylor (The Pets You Get), 
Christopher Edge (Twelve Minutes to Midnight), 
the ever-glamorous legend, Jeanne Willis (Hippospotamus,
 with Tony Ross not pictured) & Matt Dickinson (Mortal Chaos)

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