About Laura Walsh- Allow me to introduce myself
Thank you for visiting my site. My name is Laura Walsh, and I am a very unique, Creative Arts Practitioner. I have many strings to my bow, including both writing and performing and I like to think that I can adapt myself to any challenge or situation.
I have worked in and around the arts sector for ten years on numerous different projects. In that time I think I must have worked with every age range, nationality, mental capability and sexual orientation known to man. (And maybe even a few more ‘man’ didn’t have a clue about!)
I have many years experience of T.I.E (Theatre In Education) which started when myself and some colleagues set up ‘Minds Eye’. This educational theatre company was dedicated to tackling topical issues i.e. teenage pregnancy, bullying. Although some of the issues we tackled where very serious, the shows and workshops that I wrote and delivered always had a strong comedic element as I found this kept the children entertained, engaged and keen to participate.
Writing and performance are a huge part of my armoury, both comedy and straight pieces. I write plays, poems, raps, monologues and sketches, just about anything that I think will be suitable to engage a particular group. I find that it’s a fantastic way to break down barriers. If children see me acting without inhibitions, they realise it’s fine to act a bit daft sometimes and it actually makes you feel good too.
It works particularly well when I work with children or adults who are very vulnerable and have very troubled home lives. They may have been excluded from school and all traditional teaching methods simply have no impact on them. If a child has a multitude of unresolved issues clogging up their overloaded brain, is it any wonder that double maths gets evicted! ‘Engage the issue; Engage The Child’
I do a lot of work with Barnardos Young Carers. Being a young carer can be very stressful and can bring about a lot of anger and resentment. This group allows these teenagers the opportunity to vent their frustrations and address their issues. Let's not forget they are not just Young Carers, they are also teenagers and face all the trials and tribulations any normal teenager would. After a series of issue-based workshops, the group will do a very entertaining presentation and performance to an invited audience.
The younger carers can be as young as six and they have the responsibility of care for a family member for a variety of reasons. I love working with these children, it is so rewarding. I run drama, creative writing and poetry workshops with them on their treat days. I love to make them laugh and make sure that they have fun and can be children again.
I also do work for ‘Hope Street Ltd’. They are a well established arts organisation based in Central Liverpool. The projects I have worked on for Hope Street have been very varied. A few memorable ones were- Silent Street Theatre in strange locations throughout Portugal, teaching 300 kids about gang culture, (all at the same time), putting on a Christmas show in mid July with autistic adults; devising and directing a show that had to be about a pomegranate in the style of modern day Greek tragedy, simple! There are many more but I think those give a general flavour.
In 2007, I was involved in the ‘Word Up ’program . It involved working with twelve schools throughout Merseyside, and teaching children with poor literacy levels how to write poetry and rap to a given beat. It culminated in a show case of all their work in Tranmere Rovers Football Club, the children were brilliant, they had come so far, I was so proud of them.
So as you can probably gather, I enjoy a challenge. I love it when things aren’t simple and straightforward. That might sound strange but when I walk into an exclusion unit and I’m confronted with some so called ‘unteachables,’ that are apparently, (so I get told) “unengagable and unresponsive to any form of stimulus;” then, I get these children to stand up infront of their school and perform work (poems, monologues, comedy sketches) that they have written, that’s when I get my buzz; my reward, and of course the expressions on the faces of the teachers are priceless.
In August 2008, I won a place in the final of ‘Now That’s What We Call Culture’ A huge talent search, led by Phil Redmond and The European Capital of Culture Company. Out of thousands of hopefuls, I was one of only 12 acts to perform in the final at the Liverpool Echo Arena to a 10 thousand strong audience. It was an amazing experience and I got a fantastic response. My success has led to me now having a weekly performing slot on Radio Merseyside.
About my Echo Arena Performance Piece.
I wrote the piece ‘I Swear To God I Tried,’ which was a very powerful performance poetry piece as I wanted to pay tribute to both my brother and the thousands of other service men and women who selflessly put their lives on the line every day fighting for our country.
It is very easy for us to forget about these heroes, as that’s what they are, heroes. As they are many thousands of miles away, fighting someone else’s war, but how can it be someone else’s war, when the coffins of dead service men and women are being unloaded off planes on to British shores every month. I’m sure that their families now battle their own personal war everyday with the slow and bitter realisation that it is their loved one, who has now made the ultimate heroic sacrifice . So on 8th August 2008, in front of a stadium audience, just for a few minutes, I wanted to honour our troops and show them that we know,….. it’s ‘our’ war too!
I hope this has given you an idea of who exactly Laura Walsh is and what I’m about. As you have probably gathered I’m quite a unique individual, I don’t really fit into any box, nor do I really want to. I care passionately about all the work I do and I always get results, I was just born to do this work, it comes as natural to me as breathing.
Thank you for taking the time to read my bio.
Inspiration for Future Generation (Laura Walsh 2008)