A Week Of Two Sharing's! (Part 1)
Updated: Apr 2
As anyone who is freelance will know, work is like buses, you don’t see any for ages and then 3 come along at once!!! But let’s be honest, we all love a busy week, a week of being able to submerge and embed in the work we love.
So, I approached the 3rd week of March with excitement, knowing I was top to tail working with inspiring young people, to express their creativity and tell stories!
First thing Monday morning I arrived at the bright blue gates of Victoria Park Primary School, wearing my bright blue Travelling Light t-shirt to match! Beyond those gates were 60 year 3 students all waiting to express themselves with the support of the Travelling Light Team!
The young people got to choose if they wanted to be actors, dancers, musicians or prop and set designers for the week! And by the end of the week, they would have a full show that loved ones would come and watch on Friday!
I was leading the theatre group, an amazing team of young people, bursting at the seams with enthusiasm, energy and ideas! Working from a script created from the young people's ideas, we had a whole show to make in 4 days, and we needed to collaborate with dance, music and design to make it come together – the year 3 students took it all in their stride with gusto! Ideas flew around the room, and before we knew it, children’s bodies were turning into time travelling tunnels and everyone was digging the classroom carpet with their hands looking for tasty roots!
Day 2 and I’m up late editing scripts and wondering how the young people will remember all these lines in just 3 days! Day 3 we do a trail without scripts! Why was I worried? Of course the young people smashed it, delivering lines with confidence – I wish I still had the ability to remember lines that quickly!
Thursday afternoon brings the joy of seeing in full glory what the other groups have been making, shivers run down my spine as 15 year 3 students come on performing a slow dance which has been made to calm the sabre-tooth tiger, the tiger meows, mollified by this beautiful dance! Somehow, bit by bit, piece by piece, the show comes together. And as the clock strikes 3, children and adults alike, are ready for a long rest before showtime the next day!
Friday goes like a dream, all the young people alert and ready, the team excited for the show! The dress run brings an emotional moment for me, one young person has a monologue, a fair length for an adult to learn, and yet she came into rehearsals Tuesday and confidently handed me her script and said ‘I don’t need this I learnt all my lines’ and she had! But the nerves of the dress rehearsal made her stumble, I offered a prompt and she steamed through it, returning to the other stone age people around the fire on stage, I look over and realise she is rapt with sobs, I bring her over to the edge to me and tell her, every performer hopes for a bad dress run, it means it’s out of the way for the real show, I tell her she will be amazing later. I ask her ‘shall we wipe away those tears and go and smash the rest of the run?’ she nods, lets me whisk the tears away with my thumb and she’s gone, back onto stage with her head held high – only to do a phenomenal performance in both performances later that day!
As I sit on my child sized plastic blue chair at the side of the stage, script in hand ready to prompt any child taken over by nerves, I suddenly look into the audience, I stand up, wanting to remember this moment, the sea of faces, faces that emanate love and pride at the young people on stage, currently singing:
We don’t have windows
We don’t have rooves
Our fast food runs away on hooves
We would play football
The ball’s a stone
Our feet would be broken bones
We’re from the stone age
The stone age
A long time before the mobile phone age
We’re from the stone age
The early bone age
When the best things in life were made of STONE
Write up about this amazing project in Bristol 24/7: https://www.bristol247.com/culture/art/the-theatre-company-bringing-childrens-ideas-to-life/