Urban Mischief Project

Bringing a diverse group of young people together to create a new piece of writing

October 2012 – April 2013

This innovative project for 2012-13 gave young people from seven schools across the South of England the opportunity to write their own script for a new play.

The students from widely different backgrounds undertook script development workshops in schools, before a group of the students from each school came together to form an editorial board called the Clever Collective.  The Clever Collective were tasked with representing their fellow classmates and met at three editorial sessions to develop the story line and characters for the new play.

This innovative approach to writing and producing theatre was developed from a pilot project last year called Puck of the Estate.  At the outset of the project this play was performed at each of the seven schools; the students then used Puck of the Estate as the starting point for the creation of a brand new script.  In total 210 students watched the performance in their classroom, then Michael Wicherek, OneNess Sankara and Anna Bosworth delivered two writing workshops in each school to the same students.

As well as meeting at editorial sessions, the young people were encouraged to talk online about the project.  In total there were 175 digital interactions by the students

The project came to an exciting conclusion when, on 10 July 2013, the Clever Collective watched a rehearsed reading of their new play at Tate Modern.

Click here to view the blog created to document the conclusion of the project.

Number of performances or workshop opportunities: 25
Number of audiences and participants: 641

Arts Council England (Grants for the Arts)

Creative team
Michael Wicherek (Writer); Anna Bosworth (Digital Theatre Practitioner); OneNess Sankara (Musical Director); Iqbal Khan (Director); Aryana Ramkhalawon (Actor); Ria Parry (Director); Pip Thurlow (Lighting and Stage Management); Maria Gray (Actor); David Ajao (Actor); Femi Wilhelm (Actor); Frank Keogh (Actor).

Project partners
Tate Modern, Chichester High School for Girls; St. Edmund’s Catholic School in Dover; The Clarendon Academy in Trowbridge; The Charter School in Dulwich; St. Catherine’s Catholic School in Bexleyheath; Bow School of Maths and Computing, East London; Riddlesdown Collegiate in Surrey; Wells Cathedral School in Somerset.

Feedback and evaluation

“I have learnt that script writing and song writing aren’t always a one-man show and you have a lot of choice in interpretation.” Student, Chichester High School for Girls

“I have enjoyed meeting new people and having Michael trust us to make up songs with OneNess.  It’s been an amazing experience and given me confidence.” Student, The Clarendon College

“I have enjoyed meeting the other students as it made it feel more real.” Student, Bow School

“I enjoyed being really involved with the writing and creating themes and characters.” Student, Riddlesdown Collegiate

“Bringing ideas together collaboratively has been really well managed.  I love the way that, in small groups, students read each other’s monologues and the rest of the group picked out their favourite extracts.  The final task whereby every student read out one or two lines in order was really moving.” English Teacher,  The Charter School

‘The students are excited about the outcome.  It still feels way off at the moment!’ Jenna Laity, English Teacher, The Charter School

“Box Clever coming into the school for on-on-one sessions with the girls have been great and the girls love it.” Kat Stapley, Drama teacher (PGCE) St Catherine’s

Check back for the full evaluation report.

Photos and film

Click here to view the full photo gallery




What happened next?

We are currently seeking funding for the next phase of this project, which would enable Box Clever to tour the newly created performance back to the schools.