Four lively, joyful, bear-tastic workshops about bears, confidence, power, wisdom, anger, wildness and teddy-bear picnics.
Kick off with some local historical research about bears roaming the streets of London in Shakespeare’s time!
Writer, theatre maker, facilitator and the Albany Associate Artist Angela Clerkin is obsessed with bears. She has made a show about them, written a short story and recently hung out with three real bears near Canterbury. She has been working with Box Office Bears (BOB) – a group of amazing academics studying bears in England during Shakespeare’s time and explored numerous bear myths from around the world.
“Bears are magnificent animals, to me they represent courage, confidence, wildness, beauty and power. In these creative workshops for lgbtq+ people we will be exploring how to harness these qualities for our writing and ourselves.” Angela Clerkin
Each week we will focus on different themes including: myths, confidence, power, anger, wildness, courage, leadership, ancient DNA and bears taking centre stage. We will think about what’s behind phrases like ‘poking the bear’, ‘going berserk’ and ‘bear with a sore head’. And why these large wild carnivores are made into safe and cuddly teddy bears. Finally, if you were a bear what would you be like? What would your mythic story be? Come into the woods and be prepared to be surprised!
This series of four workshops will be jam-packed creative writing gatherings with tai chi, conversations and writing exercises. You will get the chance to write from various prompts – images, personal memories, music, historical research and bear myths. Open to all levels of experience. We are asking people to sign up for all 4 sessions so that we create a supportive group.
Workshop dates and times:
Tuesday 16 January, 6-8.30pmTuesday 23 January, 6-8.30pmTuesday 30 January, 6-8.30pmTuesday 6 February, 6-8.30pm
You only need to book one ticket to give you entry to all four workshops. You should be able to commit to at least three of the four workshops to take part. You can book here.
About Box Office Bears:
BOB is a unique team of academics including zooarchaeologists, archaeogeneticists, archival researchers, and performance practitioners. Together they explore the widespread, surprising, and sometimes alarming recreational interactions between humans and animals in Shakespeare’s time – discovering more about the cruel practice of bear baiting and the animals at its centre. BOB brings together a series of archaeological finds on Bankside—of bear bones and building remains—with a rich archival record of letters, diaries, patents, etc. All these findings help strengthen the histories we tell about animal cruelty, entertainment practice, and the social world of Shakespeare’s England. The brilliant BOB team is led by Professor Hannah O’Regan, based at Nottingham University.
About Angela Clerkin / ClerkinWorks
Angela is a writer, theatre maker, performer and facilitator. She has had several plays tour the UK, Portugal and Brazil, has written short stories, screenplays and comedy sketches for radio and stage. Angela was a Creative Engagement Fellow at Leicester University in 2021/22 – running a creative writing project for women and non-binary people called This Is Me about Identity. She created and curated the Festival of Radical Care at the Albany which included a Queer Cabaret night, Anti-Racist practises in Theatre conference, Young Carers creative day and Art and Interactive Exhibitions. Angela facilitated Through The Door improvisation workshops for women and non-binary people at Shakespeare’s Globe for several years – and they performed a sell-out candle-lit Drag-King cabaret Moll and the Future Kings. She runs writing workshops for LGBTQ+ over 50s at the Triangle Cultural Centre in Deptford. Angela lives in Maze Hill with her girlfriend, she loves bears, cats, wigs and moustaches, and has 99 medals for Irish Dancing.