|Samson Clarke and a young helper|
Local Young People Present Giant at RET Studio
Date: 19 April 2011
Nine young people from the Royal Exchange Act One Theatre Group will present Giant In Hiding – a performance piece aimed at children aged 2-5 years old – in The Studio of Manchester’s Royal Exchange from Wednesday 27 April 2011 to Thursday 28 April 2011 - at 11am and 1.30pm.
Marking the culmination of a 10-week project, run in partnership with Rusholme SureStart Children’s Centre, the young people have taken inspiration from workshops with the children, including spending a week at the centre leading creative activities and gathering ideas for the piece.
Samson Clarke (pictured), a member of the Royal Exchange Act One says about the week spent at Rusholme SureStart Children’s Centre: "This week has brought out a playful side of myself I have not experienced for years."
It’s moving day and there are cardboard boxes everywhere! A group of children settle down to listen to one last story before the removal men take everything away, but the giant from their story has disappeared – is he hiding in a box?
Giant In Hiding is about hiding, finding, working together and letting your imagination take you wherever it wants to go. The piece was created to explore the ideas of being big, being little and how teenagers and children feel about each other. The production is inspired by the ideas and imaginations of the children they met.
On working with the Exchange to create the piece, Sue Craven, the Children’s Centre teacher at Rusholme SureStart says: "We are very proud at Rusholme Children’s Centre to have the opportunity to engage with the Royal Exchange Theatre in creating a production with Act One for families and young children.
"The unique relationship we have with Early Years staff and cultural venues across the city has produced some very innovative and exciting creative collaborations, and we hope the commitment we have in supporting children’s creative cultural entitlements continues to flourish."
The Royal Exchange Act One Theatre Group involved with this project includes: Mekisha Brown aged 19 from Ardwick, Kyle Martin aged 19 from Stretford, Samson Clarke aged 17 from Levenshulme - who himself attended Rusholme Children’s Centre - Rachel Senior aged 15 from Higher Blakely, Lucy Cooke aged 13 from Higher Blakely, Jenny Campbell aged 20 from Fallowfield, Morgan McBride aged 16 from Wigan, Philip Maddison aged 18 from Blakely and Victoria Thompson aged 17 from Stockport.
Directing Giant In Hiding is Royal Exchange Young People’s Project Officer Becky Prestwich who is celebrating her 10th anniversary with the theatre. In 2001 Becky started out in the Royal Exchange Young People’s Theatre Group, which gave her the passion and dedication needed to continue a career writing, directing and devising work for young people following in her footsteps.
To date Becky has directed four Act One performances, including as part of PUB. She has worked in partnership with Manchester Children’s Services to embed creative practice in Sure Start Children’s Centres and was responsible for setting up the Royal Exchange’s programme of education work for under fives.
Working alongside Becky to create and devise the music with the Act One group is Akintayo Akinbode. Akintayo has forged a long and successful career working with the Royal Exchange – as a composer of many RET productions as well as a professional practitioner within several Education and Community projects.
The project is part of the Truth about Youth programme.
- by Glenn Meads
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