Issue date: 10 September 2003

Nearly two hundred Bristol primary schoolchildren will be creating original masks of animals at a special workshop on Thursday (11 September 2003) at UWE’s Faculty of Education.

The animal masks will be used by the children in performances of Benjamin Britten’s opera Noye’s Fludde, which is being staged by the University of the West of England in Bristol Cathedral this autumn.

The children from six primary schools in Bristol - Colston’s Primary, Dunmail Primary, Westbury Park Primary, Romney Avenue Junior, Horfield Church of England Primary and Sefton Park Junior - will be using a variety of techniques including vacuum forming, withy sculptures, paper engineering, and papier-mâché to make masks. The masks will represent some of the animals which went into Noah’s ark such as chimpanzees, leopards, zebras and camels. They will be taught by postgraduate trainee teachers, primary art Lecturer Diana Bogie, and members of the Faculty of Education Primary and Early years lecturing team.

Liz Newman, PGCE Programme Leader says, “It is excellent that we can work with children from our partner schools, on a performance which involves professional singers, the UWE orchestra and students from the Old Vic Theatre School. By making their own masks the children are directly involved in the final presentation of the opera and their work will be seen by the public when the children wear the animal masks at performances in the Cathedral.”

The four performances (22, 23, 24, 25 October) will also feature choristers from Bristol Cathedral and will be conducted by Peter Stark who is an honorary doctor of the University and Professor of Conducting at Trinity College of Music.

This exciting musical project is being organised by UWE’s Centre for Performing Arts.

Ruth Snary, one of the show’s producers says, “This is an excellent opportunity for the children to work with experienced musicians and to gain first hand experience of classical music. It is also a marvellous chance for UWE students to be involved in a musical production for the Bristol public.”

Bristol Prison is also helping with the project as the inmates are constructing the all-important Ark in the prison workshop. The university is grateful to the Governor for his assistance.

Tickets £8 and £4 concessions are available from Bristol Cathedral Box Office, tel 0117 946 8183 (Mon-Fri 10.00-13.00, and 14.15-16.00) or UWE tel 0117 344 2067, e mail,


Editor’s notes

The mask making day takes place in the Faculty of Education, on the Frenchay Campus of UWE, Coldharbour Lane in Bristol on Thursday 11 September.

Photo Opportunity: At 2.00pm on Thursday 11 September in the Faculty of Education the children will parade with the masks they have created.

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