The piece was based loosely on Romeo and Juliet and like Shakespeare’s story the Junior Chesil Youth Theatre’s version ended in conflict resolution. At the fictitious Calthorpe Park School there are two gangs. When one of the “Blues” strays into the area of the “Reds” to buy a burger, trouble ignites. The showdown is planned for the school sports day but two of the younger gang members make friends and manage to convince the others they can achieve much more by working together.
Corinne James and Stacey Kunesch led the project this term. Corinne said: This piece came entirely from ideas by the children during improvisation sessions. We simply recorded their words and distilled them into a narrative text.” With expert direction from Corinne and Stacey, the group also learned elements of stagecraft with mime, verse speaking and stage fighting all adding to the story.
Chesil Youth Theatre Director Richard Curtis said: “As a primary school teacher myself, to see these 8 to 12-year olds in such a polished performance of their own making is inspiring.”
Chesil Theatre Winchester runs Youth Theatre sections for 8-12 and 13-18 age groups which meet during term time on Monday or Wednesday evenings. Sessions begin again this autumn when both sections will be working towards a combined Chesil Youth Theatre production in February 2014. Full details are available from the Chesil Theatre website www.chesiltheatre.org.uk or email Richard Curtis firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Editor’s Note: The attached images are supplied repro-free for editorial use.
Credit Stephanie Danby