Class 5’s Triumph!

It’s hard to believe, but the Corner Shop School and Community Production is now over, which means it is the end of the project…

…or is it?

Class 5 performed to two packed houses last Friday. Shopkeepers, tea party guests, archvisits, theatre people, parents, grandparents and 65 other children came to the promenade production, which took them on a journey of the hall, library and cookery room through stories of Whitmore Reans’ past, a fabric shop, a barber’s, a fishmonger’s (yes – with real fish!), and an intimate shared kitchen. They feasted on delicious foods, smelled raw fish, watched hauntingly beautiful shadow puppetry, heard the most fantastic vocal soundscapes, and were totally absorbed by the most rivetting performances.

None left disappointed.

“I thought the show was fantastic!  I was overwhelmed with it all: their acting, the way that they spoke – they were brilliant! The food, the dresses! I look forward to seeing anything that they’re doing again. Anything!”  (tea party interviewee and audience member)

 “What was so impressive was the obvious enjoyment, commitment and focus of the children across the board. They have clearly had a ball – and learned so many skills. They answered questions so well too!” (university lecturer and audience member)

“I hope that one day some of them will become actors, because of this piece of work”  (shopkeeper and audience member)

” This has really helped my son with his confidence. He’s really come out of his shell and it’s lovely. And the play was spot on!” (parent and audience member)

The children’s growth in confidence as performers was enormous, right through from the dress rehearsal, to the first and then the second performance. 

One audience member and interviewee from the tea party asked the question: “So what next? What’s going to happen with all of this?”

Nicole – the student placement from Wolverhampton University, who has helped on the project throughout – answered: “I think the children will carry this project in their minds forever. It will continue through the way they behave and shop in their local community. They understand the value and the importance of supporting local small businesses as opposed to the big chain stores. So the project will live on through the choices they make, and how they pass that on to their children and grandchildren.”

Today Year 5 did their class assembly on the whole process of the Corner Shop project in front of the school – from receiving the mystery box back in October to the final performances.

This week I  go in to evaluate the whole project with the children and staff. 

We then need to discuss what the children want to put in the archive box for us deposit at the City Archives.  I’m told also that audience members have been sending in letters of thanks to the children for their wonderful performance.

So perhaps this isn’t the end afterall…

Lisa Harrison – Foursight Theatre’s education and outreach co-ordinator

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