Edinburgh Fringe Play – Cry God for Harry, England and St George!

3rd – 4th August and 6th – 11th August 2018 4.35pm – 5.20pm at theSpace@ Surgeons Hall, Nicolson Street, Edinburgh EN8 9DW

In August 2018, 19 Mulberry students and 11 Mulberry staff will be visiting the Edinburgh Festival to perform a brand new piece of theatre created over the past six months. The play, called Cry God for Harry, England and St George! will be performed eight times at the festival, and we are also planning a special one-off performance in the West End in London in September.

Cry God for Harry, England and St George! has been inspired by Mulberry’s ongoing work with the Donmar Warehouse alongside Phyllida Lloyd’s all-female Shakespeare productions, as well as being written in response to a specific Islamophobic threat that took place during the creation of the piece. During the creation of the play, students also examined questions about what it means to be British, as well as looking at Shakespeare and what makes a great leader. In particular, we were inspired by the leadership exhibited by teenagers in Florida following the shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School.

The play follows a group of young East London women as they attempt to stage a production of Shakespeare’s Henry V, before they receive a copy of the infamous ‘Punish a Muslim Day’ letter through the post. We then see how the group react to coming under threat, and how they decide to stand up to those who wish them harm. The play explores what it means to be British, what it takes to be a leader, and how a group of young people can change the world.

Click here https://tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/cry-god-for-harry-england-and-st-george to book tickets for the show.

US Ambassador Visit

The US ambassador to the UK came to Mulberry School on the 5th March to speak with students on US foreign policy and education. The students took part in an interactive presentation, which consisted of polls on key and controversial US policies over the past ten years. They were asked for their opinion on matters such as the Iraq War, the War on Terror, the use of drones, and the current international conflict with Russia over Crimea. It was an insightful and engaging presentation, which generated an open discussion on the UK-US friendship. The ambassador was very interested in the students’ concerns and worries over US intervention and foreign policy, and in a warm manner the ambassador answered their questions and addressed their concerns. This was a fantastic opportunity for our students to engage in a discussion with a senior diplomat and present their thoughts. As a follow up of this event, some students have been selected to visit the US embassy on Monday 17th March.

Model UN

The Model United Nations conference took place on 16th and 17th December at the International Maritime Organisation in Lambeth, which offers students the chance to experience a real diplomatic environment. MUN offers students the chance to play the roles of ambassadors of the UN’s member states in simulations of United Nations committees. The theme of this conference was ‘The Elimination of Poverty: Freedom and Fairness for All’, and committees explored the issue of poverty in relation to health, women, children, the environment, human rights and debt. Mulberry School is proud to be part of the international Global Classrooms network, coordinated by the United Nations Association of the USA. Mulberry is the lead school for Global Classrooms in the UK. We offer a Model United Nations programme to students from inner London state schools. Over 400 students attended our December conference from thirty-five schools, including international students from Japan and Lebanon. In feedback, 95% of participants agreed with the statement, “MUN has helped me learn about important global issues”, 90% of participants agreed that “MUN inspires young people to achieve at a higher level” and 88% agreed that “MUN has meant I know how to present myself in a formal setting”. We provided training to new schools participating in the conference this year. This (and the training held at Mulberry) is run by Global Classrooms: London alumni. We also held an international social evening for students visiting from abroad on Friday 13th December to welcome them to the UK.

Youth Conference

The 2014 Youth Conference took place on 27th February. This award-winning conference brings Sixth Form students together from a range of backgrounds to seriously explore key social and political issues in contemporary life.  This year’s theme was ‘The Power of Voice’. We explored the ways in which media, arts, activism and political influence can be used to make a positive difference in the world. Speakers included Lucy-Anne Holmes, Activist and founder of the No More Page 3 campaign, Fiona Anderson, Journalist, Mohammed Ali, Graffiti Artist and Rahima Begum, Founder of Restless Beings. We were pleased to welcome students from Northern Ireland and from Somerset to the event, which added to the diversity of perspectives in the day’s discussion. One of the highlights of the day was when visiting students were given the opportunity to take the floor to share their points of view on the topics raised.  Students also shared their points of view in discussion groups, facilitated by Mulberry students, and in afternoon workshops. The conference was also treated to a performance by Spoken Word Artist, Bridget Minamore. Since its inception, over a decade ago this annual student-led conference has gained a reputation for its challenging discussion and powerful speakers.  Students come together in discussion groups and workshops to explore issues and consider the means of becoming active in their communities.

Wild, Wild Women

Mulberry enjoys tenth annual intergenerational arts project with Magic Me at The Women’s Library. By Samilah Naira, 9B

Magic Me is a project in which Year 9 students work with older women from our local community to create an artistic production. This year the title was ‘Wild, Wild Women’. Of course, most of us were confused when artists Sue and Polly sat down with us with tea and biscuits to talk. It wasn’t like a normal drama production when you’re up on your feet working. It was different. When we saw the older women at first, we were hesitant to talk to them but once we started we couldn’t stop. They weren’t reserved old grannies who wanted nothing to do with us, but quite the opposite. They were just like us! They were in their 60s and 80s, but soon enough age just became a number. They talked to us, really talked to us. We found ourselves enchanted by their stories. If anything it was a surprise that they trust us with so much. With every word they said we realised how lucky we were to even get then opportunity to meet them. Our world, that barely stretched past east London, grew. Our words became the base of our drama production and our friendship became the ties that pulled the whole thing together. Magic Me wasn’t just a club, it was a place where we were free to talk without any restrictions and our voices were heard without reluctance. I’ll tell you now; you’ll never meet anyone like those women anywhere else. They really are the gems hidden away behind the old, cranky, stereotypical grandmas we all imagine. To the next year’s Magic Me group, what type of tea do you like? Prepare for tea, biscuits and some of the most amazing, wild, wild women you’ll ever come across!