Becky Taylor, Assistant Director for Wanted! Robin Hood has been working with Haveley Hey Community School on their own version of the classic tale. She tells us what they’ve been up to…
Shhh! Everyone! Someone’s coming! Quick, Hide!
As the rehearsal room suddenly turns into a forest and a carriage arrives, led by four white horses with Lady Marian stowed safe inside, it’s easy to forget that those creating the magic on stage are none other than forty school children from Haveley Hey Community School.
I’ve been running workshops with the children on the theme of adventure for the past six weeks, and they’ve devised their own mini version of the tale of Robin Hood. We’ve had great fun working together to create Marian’s capture by the Merry Men, the archery contest and Robin and Little John’s battle on the log. Having worked as Assistant Director on Wanted! Robin Hood, I’ve enjoyed being able to teach the children some of the techniques from the professional production which they could incorporate into their own performance. They’ve particularly enjoyed learning some stage combat moves, with very convincing results!
We’ve explored the idea of working together as an ensemble – where everyone involved can play lots of different parts and there is no need for one person to be the “star” or the “main part”. By playing lots of games and warm-ups the children are now quite happy to play different parts in each scene. They got to see this technique in action when they went to see Wanted! Robin Hood last week, and saw the actors playing two or three different characters in quick succession – they were very impressed.
They also got the chance to chat to Amelia Donkor (Marian) after the show. They’ve been writing to Amelia as part of our Adopt an Actor project and have received letters back informing them of how rehearsals were going. Seeing how their project is closely linked to our production has made them all very excited about making their performance just as good.
So with days to go before they perform their version of Robin Hood to their friends and families, it’s time to knuckle down, learn their lines and fit in some target practice!