22 May A Tale to Tell gets the thumbs up!
Our Schools Coordinator Kirsty Lambert was inspired to join the Blahs when she saw our trailer of A Tale to Tell, our interactive KS2 drama based on the Arabian Nights. Recently she sat in on the new tour’s preview performance at Carr Manor Primary School:
When I first saw the trailer for A Tale to Tell, I was hooked. I was checking out the company’s online presence, considering whether to apply for a job they were advertising. Seeing the excitement on the children’s faces convinced me. Despite not having a background in theatre, I knew that this would be a job that I’d love.
Now six months later, I’ve just arranged a complete run-through of the new production at my daughter’s school…
and it feels like the culmination of the journey which started when I first watched that video on YouTube. For the last five months, I’ve been promoting A Tale to Tell to primary schools and community venues across Yorkshire. The five-week tour is now underway. We’ll be visiting many schools we’ve worked with previously, and several who, like Carr Manor, will welcome the Blahs for the first time.
If the run-through at Carr Manor was anything to go by, our young audiences can expect a lot of fun. Actor-facilitators Simone and Munya don’t just “perform a play”, but instead draw the children into the process of creating their own story. Today, Y3 at Carr Manor imagined up some incredible stories about the adventures of Sindabad. These included a dark king riding a pink unicorn, whirlpools, wizards, a boat made of diamonds and a sea monster called a prawnipus (that’s a cross between a prawn and an octopus!).
Children today have far fewer opportunities for imaginative play than previous generations…
and they’re further restricted by an education system which tells them that creative writing starts with mastering the fronted adverbial. As adults, we need to give children time and space to play in make-believe worlds, to help them make sense of the world around them. The beaming smiles on the faces of the watching teachers today made it clear that they recognise the value of drama as an exciting way to help children learn.
What’s next for the Blahs
I’m delighted that my new job means I play a small part in helping children to throw themselves into the kind of imaginative story-making I saw at Carr Manor this morning. Now that the actors have got the tour underway, I can step back and plan how the Blahs work with schools in the long term. We need to ensure that we’re offering high quality performances that are relevant, accessible and affordable in today’s tough financial climate.
These are challenging times for the arts in education, but as a parent I’m absolutely convinced of their importance. Children’s body language often tells you all you need to know. Today, the forest of hands in the air, the smiling faces, the eager little bodies acting out shipwrecks and casting magic spells, made it obvious that the Blahs’ unique brand of interactive drama is a vital way to transport children into the realm of imagination.
For further details of how Theatre Company Blah Blah Blah can work with your primary school, please contact Schools Coordinator Kirsty Lambert on firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0113 426 1394.