Collecting for Rick Wood’s “Try” – Open Day 2022

by | Jul 12, 2022 | Ackworth School, Drama

“‘Try’ was really something else; a powerful message and brilliant writing, coupled with the incredible work of Grace and Adam. I would argue that it’s probably some of the best work ever performed on that stage… It was such an important piece to see performed.” (Audience member)

On behalf of Grace, Adam, Ella and myself, I wanted to thank all those people who came to watch our production of Rick Wood’s “Try” on Open Day 2022 at Ackworth School.

We have received so many wonderful comments, rightly praising the extraordinary work of Grace and Adam, as well as Rick Wood’s powerful text. It has all been rather overwhelming! We have been glad for the end of term to help process our feelings about it all. It goes without saying that we are so grateful for your generous response; we are so grateful that people realise how important a play this is. As a teacher, I am particularly grateful to you for showing your appreciation of my students: I am biased, but they are wonderful and dedicated and passionate, and they deserved your acclaim. For all and to all – thank you so much.

We have received a number of requests for us to perform “Try” once more, and we are planning on staging another performance early in the Christmas Term 2022. Entirely typically of the three students, they have agreed to this immediately, despite the fact that reviewing the text, rehearsing and teaching the play will require them being in school and working in the holidays, some time before term starts. Please keep an eye on Ackworth School’s social media for the latest updates: we would love to welcome you back to the Fothergill Theatre, whether you missed it the first time, or if you are back for a second viewing!

Shown are images of the annual Ackworth School Open Day. Images Copyright ©Darren Casey DCimaging

Shown are images of the annual Ackworth School Open Day. Images Copyright ©Darren Casey DCimaging

It isn’t every day that we receive nigh-on a full house for a theatre production at Ackworth. Grace and Adam’s fantastic performances deserved those numbers, but I would argue that every production we put on does too – goodness knows the effort and commitment and determination of our students, from 1st form right through to Upper Sixth, is the same. Next year, please come to support our students’ endeavours! The first half of the Christmas Term sees, in addition to “Try”, a Sixth Form solo production of Margaret Edson’s “Wit” and a night of spoken word and performance by Sixth Form EPQ students; the second half of term is the School’s Senior Musical, and we are also hoping to showcase the examination work of the school’s many LAMDA Speech and Drama students in an evening’s cabaret. There is so much to see, and so much to celebrate. Please join us!

The very emotional aftermath of “Try” on Open Day meant that I neglected the chance to hold a retiring collection for two very important groups that we wanted to support, and I humbly ask for your support here. The first beneficiary is The Imogen Young Trust Fund, a charity that helps support students at Ackworth access extracurricular music and theatre tuition and experiences.

The second is for the author, Rick Wood, himself. Rick is a writer, performer and ex-Drama Teacher.  The first production of “Try”was, like this, a student-drama production.  Perhaps this experience is why Rick has been so astonishingly generous, supportive and helpful as we worked on our production of “Try”. When he understood how student-led this production was, not only has Rick waived the performance rights to his play, but he has been on hand to (almost instantly) respond to emails and discuss issues about the play, his experiences and his intentions, particularly with Grace. Particularly in the current, tough climate where Arts and Humanities are under increasing political (and I would go so far as to say existential) pressure, Rick’s kindness and generosity cannot go unacknowledged. It is a tough time to be a writer and theatre practitioner right now; the industry really has taken hits over the last few years. Rick deserves some payment for his work.

Shown are images of the annual Ackworth School Open Day. Images Copyright ©Darren Casey DCimaging

To that end, please find a Just Giving link below: please could I ask you to consider giving a donation, of any size, to help support the Imogen Young Trust Fund and Rick Wood. Any sum raised will be shared between the two. We recognise that these are difficult times for us all: if you feel you are able to contribute, we are most grateful for the support you have given.

From all of us, thank you. And I hope to see you back in the theatre in September!

In friendship

Ali Boucher, Head of Drama

Shown are images of the annual Ackworth School Open Day. Images Copyright ©Darren Casey DCimaging