All the world's a Flake

19th August 2005 at 01:00
A good theatre should suck its audience in. Literally.

This is one of the requests made by primary pupils consulted by the London-based Unicorn Theatre company, in an effort to develop a child-friendly performance space.

Many of the children had very definite ideas about what constitutes a good theatre. One 10-year-old suggested simply: "The floors should be made out of chocolate."

Another wanted "inflated seats that catapult you when you can't be bothered to get up". A third thought attendance could be boosted via a door buzzer which, when activated, would suck in passers-by.

Unicorn is developing a pound;13.3 million theatre in the London borough of Southwark. Architect Keith Williams has spent three years consulting 30 pupils from nearby Tower Bridge primary to ensure that the new building, to be completed this year, caters to young needs.

Ten-year-old Harry said the students played a vital role. "We know what's good for kids. They might want adult stuff like big, old paintings. We are the reality check."

The results of the Tower Bridge consultation were published this week by Unicorn Theatre.

Mr Williams said: "The young people were a good check and balance. They helped us understand how children think.

"But we had to explain that you can't have chocolate floors. Chocolate melts, so it would fail every fire regulation going."

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