December 11, 2023

Sharing the Work

Delve into the magic behind the scenes! In his latest blog, Theatretrain Artistic Director, Kevin Dowsett, shares the enchanting experience of attending the end-of-term sharing at Theatretrain. Despite the disclaimer that it wasn't a traditional show, the talent and dedication of the young performers shone brightly.

On Saturday like many Theatretrain parents, I went along to watch the end-of-term sharing and to see what my daughter has been up to. I wasn’t disappointed. We were told it wasn’t a show and what we were watching was about that part of the training which is NOT about doing a show.                             

The minis had so many students off sick that those that were left went with the 6-9-year-old group – and they coped very well. The first section was dance with each of the three age groups in turn. We were shown how they warm up and stretch, how they isolate parts of their limbs, extending and contracting. It may not have been a performance but it was beautiful to watch as collectively they made synchronised shapes in the space. Not only that but they were able to tell us why they did what they did.  As we moved through the age groups it was clear that what they learned when they were younger benefitted them later – it was built, there was a progression. They did that wonderful thing – they owned the space and they did it unselfconsciously.

We moved on to acting and the youngest group gave us a quick dash through the story of Alice in Wonderland. It cleverly wove together music, movement and narration. Indeed, one of the things I liked about the morning was the way the creative team joined in, supported, questioned and explained what they were doing.

For the singing, we had what seemed an old English text sung and moved by the oldest group who were then gradually joined by everyone. Then Do-Re-Mi with the singing creative playing the Julie Andrews part – which was lovely to see. Then two older boys came out, sat on chairs and started a random backing as if they were talking to each other. Gradually the rest of the group came in with what turned out to be “Sweet Dreams” by Annie Lennox. Excellent.

Finally, we were treated to a mixture of Christmas songs, in harmony and delivered with confidence even when the backing played up. As parents, I think we glowed with the Christmas spirit.

I don’t know about the other parents I came away with a feeling that I was getting my money’s worth. I don’t mean the sharing we had just seen, but the skills and fun my daughter was having were there to be seen and it goes on every week. I know she loves it because she talks about it and looks forward to her Saturdays. Sometimes she even says she wishes every day was a Saturday! And the staff didn’t get thanked – which was fine because it’s their job but I’d like to thank them, they do a fantastic job and pass on real skills from week to week throughout the whole year.

Theatretrain, a nationwide provider of weekend theatre schools for young people aged 4-18, specialises in weekly classes in acting, singing, and dancing. An emphasis is placed on learning valuable life skills such as confidence, empathy, courage, and resilience. If you know a child who loves to dance, act and sing or could do with a little confidence boost why not visit to find out what our performing arts classes can offer your child at one of our 80 locations across the UK.

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