Celebrating young people’s creativity and imagination
Published on 29 March 2023.
On Saturday 25 March we celebrated the wonderful creativity and imagination of our youth theatre groups with a day of performances for parents, carers and invited guests.
The Travelling Light Studio was alive with energy and excitement as our youth theatre groups, with members ranging in ages from 7-19, shared their devised performances.
This year each group had taken inspiration from Belle and Sebastien, the story by Cécile Aubry and the Travelling Light show co-produced with Bristol Old Vic this winter. A story of love, friendship and peril set in the French alps.
The groups took this starting point and explored different themes, landscapes and characters, to create four, very different, devised performances.
The day began with Louder Than Words, our youth theatre group for disabled children aged 7-16, inviting audiences to meet the beasts! The performance introduced us to warm, welcoming and fun beasts who end up in great danger when the volcano island they are living on is about to erupt.
Louder Than Words
performing 'Un-welcomed' during our youth theatre sharing.
Next up, the 7-10’s presented ‘Helping Hand’ – a performance about how a close-knit community lean on each other for support and guidance, and when the going gets tough the town gets going. From asking the resident dragon for help to sending spies up the mountain on a rescue mission, the town came together to solve a problem and save the day.
After lunch, we were back in the studio to see our 11-13’s group present ‘Outsiders’, a story about ‘hats’ and ‘fabrics’ – a fabulously strange story that explored topics of authority, outsiders, friendship, freedom and climate change in an imaginative way through the conflict and struggles between two groups divided by ‘hats’ and ‘fabrics’.
11-13's Youth Theatre
Members of our 11-13's performing in 'Outsiders'.
Finally, we ended the day with a performance from our 14-19’s group called ‘A Tale of Two Buttons’. This performance invited the audience to step into a world where a new bill would segregate, isolate and abuse half of the population based on their belly button. A story of injustice and rebellion, of hierarchies and relationships.
The idea came from an initial devising exercise where the provocation was forbidden friendships. The group then imagined every corner of their world and the characters that exist there, building a rounded piece that used humour in a clever way to reflect on our society.
All the performances were devised by the young people with the help of our youth theatre facilitators, assistants and volunteers.
It is a real pleasure to work with so many creative and talented young people across our youth theatre groups and the day provided a wonderful opportunity to share their work with family and friends.
Thank you to our brilliant team of facilitators, assistants and volunteers, all the artists that contributed to the creation of the performances, to all the families and audiences for their support, and of course the young people for their talent and creativity.
14-19's Youth Theatre
Members of our youth theatre performing in 'A Tale of Two Buttons'.