Star turns

26th September 1997 at 01:00
School: Taynuilt Primary School, Argyll and Bute, 76 pupils; Headteacher Doreen Henderson.

What has been the best arts company to visit your school in the past year? The Stray Theatre Company from Dalmally.

How did you hear about them? They contacted the school direct.

What did they do? They put on a performance of Colum Cille, specially adapted for children to mark the 1,400th anniversaryof St Columba's death. There were three actors and a narrator. There was a little introduction and then they portrayed the character of St Columba at various stages of his life.

Did you do any preparation beforehand? Because of the anniversary, the children had been studying the story and had encountered people making pilgrimages to mark the occasion Any follow-up work? Some of the children had a trip to see the St Columba exhibition on Mull and to Iona.

How long did the theatre company stay? About an hour.

How much did they cost? It was free, and the same classes (P3-7) from the four other schools in the East Lawn Cooperative were present too.

What was so good about them? They brought their own costumes and helped to bring the story to life across the centuries - the children could see the historical side for themselves. They were really sympathetic to smaller children and showed St Columba as a little boy with the kind of books he would have had. Like Scottish Opera, which has also visited us, they gave our children experience they would not otherwise have, as there's no theatre company or amateur dramatics in our area.

How relevant was their visit to the curriculum? Absolutely - the children had been involved in an RE project on St Columba.

* The Stray Theatre Company, tel: 01838 200650

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