Star turns

14th November 1997 at 00:00
School: Wallace Hall Primary, Dumfries and Galloway, 149 pupils; age of children 5-12; headteacher Joyce Clenahan.

What has been the best arts event to visit your school in the past year? The West Midlands Children's Theatre Company: three actors - one female, two male.

How did you hear about them? They sent their brochure through the post. I always keep such things on file and refer to them when we have funds available, or when it's appropriate to what we're doing.

What did they do? They performed a play called The King of Copenhagen. It was based on the story of The Emperor's New Clothes. They brought their own costumes and lighting.

Did you do any preparation beforehand? No, because they came on the first day after the October break. In any case, I think preparation beforehand can spoil the anticipation.

Did you do any follow-up work? Yes. The children wrote about what they had enjoyed and the P1s and P2s did drawings.

How much did it cost? Pounds 1 per child. It cost us Pounds 142 because some children were absent.

Who paid? The parents, but in cases of financial hardship, the school.

What was so good about them? Everything. They were bright and colourful, and the storyline was clear. Their interaction with the children was excellent. They picked children at random to dress up in costume and join them on stage, and made sure they were comfortable. The pace was good and you could always hear them, although they didn't use microphones. They were fun and funny.

How relevant was it to the curriculum? In terms of listening and the expressive arts, very. I am a great believer in ensuring that children see live performances, because it gives them something to remember in a way that TV never can.

West Midlands Children's Theatre, tel: 01902 491222

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