Getting happy with the BRIT School

“You can’t help but enjoy yourself. I just can’t help it, to have fun!” The energy generated by the joint drama workshops with Kairos residents and BRIT School students was evident in their fizzing final performance.
Kairos and The Brit School collaboration 2023
Their turn to take a bow: (l-r) Adrianna Jones, Kairos director Mossie Lyons, Lucy Dear from the BRIT School.

It was a chilly January morning in Peckham when Kairos residents met students from the BRIT School for the first in a series of drama workshops that culminated in a fantastic showcase of dance, acting and singing, writes Adrianna Jones, Kairos co-ordinator for the workshops.

We’d hoped that these workshops – Kairos’ first collaboration with the BRIT since 2013 – would provide a bit of fun, a creative release from the emotional intensity of early recovery, and they certainly delivered. Whether they’d been involved with drama groups previously or were new to the experience, some 15 residents threw themselves into in drama games, improvised sketches, learning dance steps and song lyrics for the showcase with huge openness – and a lot of talent. Their enthusiasm was matched by the seven BRIT School students and teacher Lucy Dear from the school’s Applied Theatre Department.

In the words of one participant: “I loved all the activities – performing, connecting with people, laughing… so many things were brilliant. The acting part was really good, really challenging. And watching people get out of their comfort zone and perform in such a great way. I loved it.”

The energy of an event is always the collective energy of its participants and this enthusiasm was mirrored by BRIT students: “When you’re here, everyone’s smiling, it makes me happy as well. They build my energy up, so it’s like I’m getting something for it. It feels like a transaction. It doesn’t feel like I’m giving them anything. It feels like they’re giving me something.”

And, for spectators of the showcase? “The dancing was excellent – I felt like getting up there myself and having a go!  And the quality of the singing. I immediately felt every emotional. I think it was the power that came from it, the strength of the voices. It wasn’t humble, meek voices there, it was powerful and strong.  Bringing people together in this way – it’s important for people to feel it, to know they’re part of something bigger and that everyone’s on their side. There’s a lot of love out there.”

A massive thank you to everyone who took part!

What they were saying after the show…

It was wonderful, amazingly energetic with fantastic singing. And the vignettes were really beautifully observed and acted. I wish it had gone on longer – really could be a longer show.

It’s really important for people to feel it, to know that they’re part of something bigger. And that everyone’s on their side. There’s a lot of love out there.

I was profoundly struck by the quality of the singing and the projection. I immediately felt very emotional. I think it was the power that came from it, the strength of the voices and the singing.

It was amazing to have that conversation with different people because you wouldn’t see young people talking like that to older people on the street… So it’s kind of nice to exchange experiences with people, bond over new stuff and, you know, have a laugh with people you wouldn’t normally.