School’s Out And Creativity Is In This Summer At Norwich Theatre Royal

When the final bell goes at the end of the summer term, the curtain goes up on a host of activities designed to bring out the inner creativity in young people.

Whether it is devising new work, performing classic routines or learning the nuts-and-bolts of working on-stage and off, there will be something for all ages to enjoy during the programme at Norwich Theatre Royal’s learning and participation centre Stage Two.

Wendy Ellis, the theatre’s learning and participation manager, said: “We are known for our work at creating and performing work and we will be continuing to share that expertise with young people. This summer, we are marking our first year in our new home by expanding our seasonal programme even further to give a greater insight into the creative processes involved in creating a live performance.”

The summer programme begins on July 25 and 28 with two summer holiday adventure sessions for children aged 2-6 and their families. Each of the hour-long workshops will see young people have fun on their own adventure. They will make their own passport so they can fly off somewhere hot, build sandcastles, swim through bubbles and maybe even meet a mermaid or see a whale.

The same age-group can also enjoy camping adventures on July 31 and August 4. Again an hour long, participants can pitch their own imaginary tents, fish for their dinner and find wood for a camp-fire before enjoying a sing-song, and that is before the adventure even starts.

The following week sees activities for the next generation with a week-long workshop on August 7-11 aimed at 16 to 25 year-olds. The Devising and Ensemble Week will start by looking at great ideas which can be words, sounds, impulses or movements.

Using a number of theatre techniques, they will work with Tom Sparkes, a former student of the Norwich Theatre Royal arts course who is now a professional practitioner with international experience of Grotowski Theatre, named after its creator Jerzy Grotowski who focused on the voices and body movements of actors and how they relate to an audience more than costume, décor and sound.

During the week, the participants will create a piece of work which will be premiered at Stage Two at the close of the course. The theatre’s Wendy Ellis said: “This week will hone creative skills, wake up the body and sharpen the mind. Using various techniques, the participants will work together to create a unique piece of theatre.”

Then, from August 14-18, the West End and Broadway comes to Stage Two with a musical theatre week for 14 to 21-year-olds. This intensive week-long course offers training in acting, singing and dancing again working towards a one-off performance. The participants will work with professional directors and the Norwich-based choreographer Cat Chapman, who is well-known for her work with a number of East Anglian organisations including the all-male dance company Legacy.

Specially selected material including scenes, speeches and songs from famous musicals will be included to give those taking part the chance to develop their skills and discover the reality of becoming a professional performer.

Then it is time for eight to 16-year-olds to take centre stage for the Theatre Arts Summer School from August 21-26. This will be a wide-ranging week of activity designed to cover a host of different skills and techniques including drama games, role play, improvisation, script work, set and props building, and technical skills.

Wendy Ellis said: “Variety is definitely the essence of the summer school. As well as the all-important stage-craft, this week will look at all the different elements that are needed to bring a successful show to the stage.”

Full details of the courses and information about how to book is available at www.theatreroyalnorwich.co.uk and then click Take Part.