On Saturday 6th of November 201o six young people from Newark and District Young Archaeologists Club joined museum service staff at The Resource Centre for a creative writing workshop.
The day, led by writer Dave Wood from Writing East Midlands, aimed to enable the group to create a Soap Opera script based around the English Civil War period.
Dave explained how a Soap Opera is developed, that real life is exaggerated and compressed, there are a range of traditional characters such as a foolish character, a businessman or perhaps a drunkard. Soap operas have meeting places where gossip can be passed on and the storyline spread. Characters may have a secret!
To spark initial ideas the group were each asked to select an object from the museum collection of real and replica items from the Civil War period. Using the selected object characteristic qualities were listed. These characteristics were used as the basis to create a character by adding a traditional trade the person may have and imagining a secret that the character was withholding. By following this process each member of the group created a monologue and named their character.
As the day developed Dave encouraged the group to interact and develop the dialogue between characters at first in pairs, then gradually in larger groups. As the dialogue progressed secrets began to come out and some of the characters reached a sticky end!
The group also developed a theme tune! You can watch the development and results on Youtube.
Newark and Sherwood Museum Service has a collection of over 70,000 objects. Millgate Museum is closed to visitors now as we are in the process of developing a new museum, with a National Civil War Centre, on the Old Magnus Buildings site Appletongate. This new museum will replace the exhibitions at Millgate and the Gilstrap Centre. At the Resource Centre we continue to offer a research service that gives everyone access to our collection of objects and archives and learning sessions for schools and groups in the community. Please ring 01636 655777 or 655730 to make an appointment.