Star turn Theatre for youth

12th May 2000 at 01:00
School: Auldearn primary, Nairn. Pupil roll 170; whole school involved. Headteacher Chris Cooke.

What was the best arts company or event to visit your school in the past year?

Theatre for Youth from Manchester.

How did you hear about them?

They had advertised by mailing list.

How long did they spend with you?

A morning. There were two players, one female, one male.

What did they do?

A performance of Through the Looking Glass.

They used one simple backdrop as scenery and did a lot of darting in and out from behind it! There was a cat - the Cheshire Cat - hanging over the top of it to link the narrative.

They brought their own taped music and the story was of Alice progressing across a chessboard and dealing with each of the characters she met - the Red Queen, the White Knight and, of course, Tweedledum and Twedledee. Alice had to solve a series of puzzles and interact with each character as she progressed and the children had to work out the logic behind it.

Did you do any preparation work beforehand?

Not really.

Any follow-up work?

Yes, the children were set writing tasks after the performance.

What was so good about the visit?

The enjoyment of the children - they were so absorbed by it and fascinated by the nursery rhyme characters they met - and, for the older ones, the task of trying to puzzle out the logic.

How relevant was it to the curriculum?

Mainly as a jumping off point for the children for discussion and class writing projects.

How much did the visit cost?

70p per child and it lasted 70 minutes.

Who paid?

The school fund.

Contact Kenneth Vaughan Management, tel 0161 860 4857

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