Dramatic Discoveries

Artskickers Awards 2018

We’re delighted that Thomas Buxton Primary School is up for the FUTURE ARTIST Award (Ages 5-12) for their involvement in ‘Dramatic Discoveries’. See image gallery below of their artwork and here’s a link to their fantastic school blog

In double whammy style, Tracy Barbe from Rich Mix is also up for a SPECIAL PROJECT Award for her work in managing the Dramatic Discoveries project and bringing we partners together. We couldn’t think of a more deserving lead for the shortlist. Good luck Tracy!

Keep an eye out for the results of the Artskickers Awards which will be announced from 13th September.

THANK YOU #artskickers! More info about the shortlist here

Where: Rich Mix
When: 31st March – 16th April
Topic: Curtain Theatre – History
Year group: Families / All ages

Commissioned by:


Dramatic Discoveries

Part of PLAY-HOUSE Easter Family Festival at Rich Mix:

Year 5 pupils from Thomas Buxton School exhibit their Elizabethan, ceramic money boxes, banners and bunting during the Rich Mix PLAY-HOUSE festival inspired by the historic remains uncovered at Shakespeare’s Curtain Theatre.

When you really open your eyes and slow down, you get a sense of travelling through time as you walk through the streets around Rich Mix, the boundaries of Tower Hamlets, Hackney and the City. The city is always changing and expanding, but what seems to remain is the culture of creativity; old amidst new.

The culture of the East End has always had a theatrical undercurrent. The very first playhouse, ‘The Theatre’ opened in New Inn Broadway in 1576, and then ‘The Curtain’ nearby in Curtain Rd in 1577. In St Leonards, Spitalfields you’ll find the ‘Actors church’, where Shakespeare’s actors the Burbages and Will Somers, Henry Vllls Fool, are buried. Now, the development of a new building ‘The Stage’ is being built on the site of the miraculous discovery of The Curtain theatre’s archaeological remains – New ‘culture’ rises up from the old.

Rich Mix offered the brief to create artworks for the PLAY-HOUSE Family Festival to Year 5 pupils from local Thomas Buxton School. They had a visit from the MOLA Time Truck to ‘set the stage’ and offer historic inspiration. Art Hoppers facilitated the art workshops where the Elizabethan styled ceramic money boxes and fabric banners and bunting were then created.

What to Expect

60 children have been involved in this exciting project which saw them working with Ashley from the MOLA Time Truck handling historic artefacts and brushing up on their Shakespearean acting skills.

They then worked with Claire from Art Hoppers and Tracy from Rich Mix to create Canvas Banners and Bunting inspired by Elizabethan motifs and Ceramic money boxes based on Elizabethan Theatre box office money boxes.

These are installed in the Rich Mix ‘Dramatic Discoveries’ exhibition in our First Floor Box Office. The Banners and Bunting decorate our mainspace, foyer and mezzanine.

Artist: Claire WT. More info here


Museum of London Archeology (MOLA) – The Time Truck is a flexible and interactive mobile event space, lab and classroom designed to host an exciting programme of volunteering opportunities, workshops and initiatives that evoke curiosity, encourage people to explore their heritage and enables them to discover why archaeology matters.

Thomas Buxton Primary School in Tower Hamlets is a two form entry school. Both year 5 classes engaged in the project through drama and art based activities. Our involvement was to offer an art session to each class. One based on Elizabethan print design using a stencil technique and the second based on 3D modelling using clay as the material for our money boxes inspired by the artefacts found at the site of Curtain Theatre.

Rich Mix is the venue and producer of the project bringing all the partners together. PLAY-HOUSE is a family event during the Easter weekend 2018.

Image gallery

Images of children from 2 x yr5 classes during their activity workshops at Thomas Buxton School:

« 1 of 3 »
I liked working with clay because it was calming and relaxing, and if you made a mistake you could easily change it!

Madagascar class, Yr.5, Thomas Buxton School

I enjoyed how I could express my artistry with clay and how it linked to the past!

Madagascar class, Yr.5, Thomas Buxton School

I had loads of fun doing this, I particularly enjoyed squashing the sponge to create the effect.
Ibrahim (re: printing)

Kenya class, Yr.5, Thomas Buxton School

It was fun because I enjoyed creating the pots!

Madagascar class, Yr.5, Thomas Buxton School

Stats about this project

  • Drawing / stencil based printing 50% 50%
  • 3D modelling / Clay works 50% 50%

Applied art disciplines

Participants (Yr 5 pupils who engaged with the project)