The Creative Critics project comes to Yorkshire Festival, directed by Christina Birt Projects, in co-production with Company of Angels and delivered in partnership with Battyeford Primary School in Mirfield, Birkby Junior School in Huddersfield and The Yorkshire Post.
All the pupils involved are aged 9-10 and have been taking part in workshops designed to motivate their engagement with art and culture, visit pieces of contemporary performance and use their newly developed thinking, communication and writing skills to review these works.
Below are reviews by young critics from Battyeford Primary School who went to see The Nile Project at the Alhambra Theatre in Bradford on Saturday, June 18.
Roxanne, Battyeford Primary School
On Saturday the 18th of June 2016, Battyeford Creative Critics went to the Alhambra Theatre. When I got off the coach I did not know what to expect. When I took my seat a funny feeling tickled up my spine, all of a sudden a small group of people entered the stage…
A bright beaming light shone on Saleeb Fawzy and he started to sing a really emotional song. When it came to the interval I was really looking forward to the second half of the show, it was amazing the first half and I couldn’t believe how well they did.
For the second half a really wacky man called Yousuf started to dance and all of the band copied. After a lady named Kasiva Mutua started her very own dance party and the whole crowd started to join in, in the auditorium, it was a whole lot of crazy!
When it was done we went to the VIP area and some of the band came down it was so awesome. On the way home we were all still very excited and if you like dancing and singing then I recommend it. I give it 10 out of 10 stars!
Caoimhe, Battyeford Primary School
When I got off the coach, I felt a shiver run down my spine as I saw the breath taking view of the Alhambra.I was really excited about seeing the Nile project. I stepped inside and heard the sound of exited people talking about the show were about to see. The start of the performance was a bit mystical and it made me remember a movie. Throughout the performance I felt lots of different emotions it made me feel exited and think of what we have and take for granted if everyone had the same attitude the world would be a better place! All the performers seemed to have a good bond with each other and the audience. When I shut my eyes I felt like I was sat on a boat going along the Nile River and I was connecting with different cultures. I felt ecstatic it felt like I was at a carnival. The performers were wearing vibrant colourful clothes. The amazing performers got us to join in with their interesting performance everybody in the crowd were up on their feet dancing! After the performance some of the performers came down and we asked them some questions. They are from all along the Nile River basin including Egypt,Sudan,Burundi,Ethiopia,Kenya,Tanzania,Uganda and Rwanda.I would definitely recommend it to people of all ages and I really enjoyed it! It was a night I would never forget!
Harleen, Battyeford Primary School
While I was on the coach I was so excited about the performance because I knew it would be a great experience for me. When we got seated in the theatre straight away I knew it was going to be a good performance. The Nile Project brings together musicians from 11 countries across the African Nile River Basin, which included Egypt, Sudan, Burundi, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda & Rwanda. It was amazing. I loved it. I personally thought it was a great experience for me. Up on the stage there were 11 musicians with lots of instruments. It was all great fun. At the end of the show we all got up and started singing and dancing. It was the best bit out of the whole show. After the show we went to the V.I.P (very important person) room. We talked a bit about the show. While we were in the room some of the musicians came in and we asked them some questions about the show. I thought the show was amazing.
I would recommend it for other people to go and watch because I think you will enjoy it to. If I could rate this performance, I would rate it a 5 STAR rating. I loved this performance and I think you will love it too.
Evie, Battyeford Primary School
When I stepped off the coach, I saw a glance of the breath-taking Alhambra. When we all stepped inside people were talking and looking at the posters of the show we were going to see. We walked past everyone and into a VIP room for a talk. Eventually we went to the auditorium to see the performance. The start of the show was a bit unique and interesting; it was like that till the interval. But the second half was amazing, fun, interesting and ecstatic. We were all on our feet dancing away, up on the stage the singers were dancing and having fun with us. They were all from different countries and it felt like I connected with them. If I shut my eyes I pictured the countries in my head. We went back to the VIP room and we got to meet the performers, they were wearing cultural, vibrant clothes. We danced and sung for ages.
I would recommend this performance to every one of all ages for it was amazing, energetic elderly people would enjoy this too. It was one of the best nights of my life!
Lewis W, Battyeford Primary School
On Saturday 18th June, the Creative Critic group and I went to the amazing, grand Alhambra Theatre to see the one and only Nile Project. When we walked into the theatre we didn’t know what to expect. The show started with a speech about what it was all about. When the show started we saw people walking on to the stage in weird costumes that we had never seen before.
When the artists were ready the man who was in the middle unexpectedly started singing in a completely different language, none of us could tell what he was saying. It is actually quite astonishing to see man sing in a different language. The instruments that we saw were very unusual; they looked like instruments where you could combine two random things together to make something that could make a really amazing sound. The atmosphere was very loud! I could feel the vibrations in the floor from all the instruments and singing. The singing throughout the performance was terrific!
In the second performance it was just as good. It was much more energetic and rhythmic, probably because they were more confident seen as this was their first show in Britain. The singing throughout the performance kept on changing pitch and tune. Different people were singing and they all sang in different languages. In some arts it was a bit emotional because it reminded me about what would happen in other countries. Near the end the artists started dancing and then asked the audience to start dancing as well, people started standing up and dancing with them. It was a really fun experience. After the show we went in to the workshop to think about some of the ideas and to say what it was like. Suddenly, three artists of the group came into the room and we were all surprised! Everyone was queueing up to get their signatures on their books.
I recommend this to people who enjoy shows at theatres and are interested in unusual dancing and singing.
Felicity, Battyeford Primary School
On Saturday 18th June 2016 a group of Battyeford pupils went to the Alhanbra Theatre to see The Nile Project. It was one of the best performances of my life. It was all about the countries around the Nile and it was their first performance in Yorkshire. There were a lot of talented artists there, there were singers, saxophone players, drummers and there were other people with a lot of weird instruments. Everyone, when they were singing, sang in a different language but you could somehow connect and tell what they were saying. There were lots of performers and all of them were great and were really very talented! There was absolutely no story-line, all I thought it was, was a group of people who lived around the Nile and they had formed a group.
The mood changed throughout the performance, some of the songs were sad but others were happy. At the end everything was really happy and they told us “turn up the lights, we are going to have a party!” The crowd went CRAZY!! The applause was unbelievable, we all just about screamed our heads off. The most amazing, fantastic part was… all of the band came to see us and we got their autographs and a picture with them. When we got back on the coach and to our house, I was way too excited to sleep!
I have no complaints about this production.
Max, Battyeford Primary School
On Saturday the 18 of June I went to see the Nile project at Bradford Alhambra it started off with one singer who was wearing a white cloth and a long blue gown...the singing was calming, it made me feel drowsy and relaxed. Then came a musician playing a Kawala that was like an awesome flute. At that point the audience was relaxed. Then came a dancer and singer who did a funny dance wearing a sort of army outfit. This performer was called Yousuf then two drummers came one was a man and one was a woman they were called Hani Bedai and Casiva Mutua after that came a saxophone player and two more singers. Eventually we got up and joined in dancing and singing. At the end we got the musicians autograph .It was loud and the crowd was filled with excitement. This was the first night of our Creative Critics and I recommend it to everyone.
Cameron, Battyeford Primary School
I got on the coach and I really wasn’t exited. The reason was because I thought this show was going to be rubbish. I walked into the Alhambra and it was huge. We didn’t go straight onto the audience we went into a V.I.P bar for a talk, which was amazing.
As we sat down the lights got dimmer and the show began. A strange clothed man walked onto the stage but he didn’t start singing he started making a long vocal sound. Then lots of other artists came on to the stage and it changed everybody’s mood. Everyone started a beat by clapping which made the atmosphere much more fun. Me and Lewis started to have a little dance because on the walk ways lots of other people were dancing. A guy came out, who was dressed in all white clothes, he had a weird instrument called a masenco . It was a cross between a guitar and a violin I want one!
We finally got the interval which was my favourite bit because we got ice cream but me and Lewis didn’t get to pick because we went to the toilet so Lewis got strawberry and I got vanilla. We couldn’t wait for the next part to start. Just before it started my friend was shaking his ice cream to make it melt but it went wrong the lid came off and the ice cream went all over him I laughed so much . Hahahahaha. What an interval .
Once again the strangely dressed singer came back on stage and did a long vocal sound. A short Ethiopian woman came right to the central spot of the stage and used her amazing voice and sang. She said in a loud and clear voice let’s have a party. She started a beat by clapping then everyone joined in. Then after that the four people in front of me Lewis , Harvey and Alex stood up and started dancing so me and Lewis obviously stood up. Then ever body else did and it was a titanic party. It was the best time of my life wouldn’t have changed anything about it but one thing, I would change that it would last forever! I highly recommend this for all ages and for people that love singing and dancing. You will have the best time ever please go and see it.
Louise, Battyeford Primary School
On Saturday the 18th June, I went I went to go see the Nile Project at the Bradford Alhambra. The audience and I were introduced to the show with a speech, telling us more about the show and then the show started with some spectacular singing. The audience began to clap as the rest of the group came on gradually. They all had their own style, which I thought was very unique. Some of the group went off as the song ended and other members of the group came on for the next song.
As the show went on, I saw them encouraging the audience more and getting them to dance. I really enjoyed the man on the sax he really lit up the atmosphere, he was called Jorga Mesfin and he was from Ethiopia. The singers really encouraged the audience to clap along with them and get them even more excited. I was a bit concerned at the start because they weren’t really giving any eye contact but in the second half, their eye contact was superb.
I enjoyed the second half of the performance best because they really got the audience up on their feet and they were getting an ace reaction from the audience. They looked stunning and I really thought they worked well together. The ending was the best part of it because they got everyone dancing and they created a fantastic atmosphere. The main reason they set up the Nile Project was to spread awareness about how much the Nile means to them, they all come from 11 different countries around the Nile and came together to spread awareness. I went into the auditorium not really knowing what to expect and came out with a different perspective for the Nile. I would definitely recommend it for others to see.
Rory, Battyeford Primary School
The moment I got off the coach I could tell the show was going to be something special you could just tell. When I got into the Alhambra it started with some pre-longed sounds, you could not tell what they were saying because it was in African. I think the whole show was brilliant and a bit out of the ordinary as well. Although the artists were from 11 different countries along the Nile basin a few maybe, 5 or 6 spoke English/American. Every single song, performance and speech got an applause because of the quality of the show. At times it wasn’t my sort of music but at other times it was incredible and I really enjoyed it. It was amazing to see so many people from so many different countries able to communicate with each other.