Precious Emily (Schools Shows)

Primary Education  
Ten primary schools across Birmingham made a theatre show called Precious Emily. Each show was different but all have the same starting point and share ingredients. Everyone was inspired by the life of champion weightlifter Precious McKenzie and every school interviewed Emily Campbell as she prepared to lift for gold in the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games. The students all had a weightlifting lesson led by a member of the British team, collaborated with a musician and a choreographer. They also had ten days with a director from Stan’s Cafe.

The schools all performed for their local communities and then, on 14th July, scenes from all ten shows were brought together to make a collective ‘gala’ performance.

Finally, on 15th, 16th & 17th September a professional touring version of the show, made by Stan’s Cafe for families, using material from the schools productions, will premiere in Birmingham at mac. This version will be bilingual BSL/English.

Credits

Blakesley Hall Primary version devised and performed by Year 5
Directed by Owen Harper
Chados Primary version devised and performed by Year 6
Directed by Paul ‘Steady’ Steadman and Holly Alanna Williams
City Road Primary version devised and performed by Year 4
Directed by Rebecca Rochelle and Nafeesa Hamid
Hollywood Primary version devised and performed by Year 5
Directed by Graeme Rose
Holy Family Catholic Primary version devised and performed by Year 6
Directed by Aaron Corbett
St Bernard’s Catholic Primary version devised and performed by Year 5
Directed by Fateha Begum
St Gerard’s Catholic Primary version devised and performed by Years 5 and 6. Directed by Carys Jones
St Matthew’s Church of England Primary version devised and performed by Year 6. Directed by Dominic Thompson
Raddlebarn Primary version devised and performed by Year 4
Directed by Craig Stephens
Watermill Primary version devised and performed by Year 6
Directed by Lexia Tomlinson

Script resource
: Craig Stephens
Illustrations: Maxene Brown
Songs Composed with: Katy Rose Bennet
Incidental music mostly by: Orique Johnson
Movement advice: Paul ‘Steady’ Steadman
Prop Weights made by: Infamous Community Arts
Costume Supervisor: Ella Barraclough
Photography: Graeme Braidwood
Graphic Design: Simon Ford
Produced by: Dave Howard with Dominic Thompson
Stan’s Cafe office: Lucy Bird, Michelle Smith, Nick Sweeting
Artistic Director: James Yarker

With thanks to:
All the teachers, headteachers and school staff who made this possible
Jo Calvino, Claire Birch & everyone at Birmingham 2022 Festival
Emily Campbell & Precious McKenzie for their help & support
Stuart Martin and British Weightlifting
the lifters Noorin Gulam, Fraer Morrow, Chris Murray & Jennifer Tong
Weightlifting House for lending us technique weights for coaching sessions
Coach Cheema at Warley Weightlifting Club for kindly letting us sit in
Sammy Hayer of Sam’s Gym at Oldbury Academy who was also supportive
Brian Oliver for linking us with Precious in writing & in life
Thanks to Immanuel Church for hosting, and to Ann Rose for organising the space.
Angela Lowry & Raddlebarn School for hosting Stan’s Cafe at Our Facility

Commissioned by Birmingham 2022 Festival

Tour Dates

  • Family Show
    15-17 September
    MAC, Birmingham
  • Gala Performance
    14 July
    MAC, Birmingham
  • St. Bernard’s Primary Version
    13 July
    Foyle Studio, MAC
  • St. Matthew’s Primary Version
    12 July
    St. Matthew’s Primary School
  • Chandos Primary Version
    12 July
    Foyle Studio, MAC
  • Watermill Primary Version
    8 July
    Ruddock PAC
  • Holy Family Primary Version
    7 July
    St. Cyprian’s Memorial Hall
  • St.Gerard’s Primary Version
    5 July
    St. Gerard’s School
  • Blakesley Hall Primary Verison
    4 July
    Blakesley Hall Primary
  • Hollywood Primary Version
    30 June
    Immanuel Church
  • City Road Primary Version
    28 June
    Christchurch Summerfield
  • Raddlebarn Primary Version
    15 June
    George Cadbury Hall
  • Sketch Version
    6 November
    Our Facility, Selly Oak

Family Version

Tour Dates

  • Family Show
    15-17 September
    MAC, Birmingham