Bishops Stortfords pupils to perform in Als Adventures in Wasteland: A musical with a message to look after the planet
Almost 100 children from two Bishops Stortford primary schools will appear in a stage show at Rhodes Arts Complex as part of a musical project about environmental conservation.
A total of 62 pupils in Year 4 at Summercroft and 32 in the same year at Thorn Grove will feature in Al’s Adventures in Wasteland, a play co-written by Carol Russell, from Sawbridgeworth, and Raffaele Sargenti, from Perugia, Italy.
Staged by four actors from Contexture, Stortford’s own professional theatre company, the play tells the story of a naïve and enthusiastic young alien who is sent by the space controller to find a planet for the future.
After a speedy trip to three untenable planets, he happens upon Earth. He sees water, green spaces and hope for the future. But travelling around the planet, he becomes more and more disillusioned as he witnesses waste, destruction and selfishness. He is about to give up all hope when he comes across three street children who vow to help him.
The Stortford pupils who feature in the show will, in a term-long project, learn about pollution problems, make musical instruments from recycled materials and rehearse five of the musical numbers ahead of the live performances at Rhodes Arts Complex on July 5 and 6, when the pupils will perform as a choir.
Children who attend Birchanger, Takeley and Roseacres primary schools and special educational needs (SEN) pupils in Years 7 and 8 at Pinewood School in Ware will also take part in the show in this way.
Teenagers studying performing arts at Harlow College will feature in scenes where physical theatre is used to complement the adult actors’ performance.
Carol Russell, founder of Sawbridgeworth-based performing arts development charity Youth CREATE, Susie Savage, of Bishop’s Stortford Musical Theatre Company and co-founder of the Herts and Soul Community Choir, and Kelly Middleton-Evans, a Hatfield Heath-based actress and dancer, will be going into the participating schools to start a term of workshops teaching songs, simple choreography and the play’s storyline.
Al’s Adventures in Wasteland was performed in Carpi and Modena in Italy in March 2016. Almost 2,000 children, students and adults were involved, and the musical was hailed as a great success.
The project has earned the endorsement of Eco-Schools, an educational programme delivered in England by the charity Keep Britain Tidy. It has the support of Stortford and Sawbridgeworth mayors Colin Woodward and Ruth Buckmaster, who have helped Carol to promote the musical at various community events, such as Stortford’s Christmas market and the High Wych Scarecrow Festival.
There is still some space for teenagers aged 16 and over to take part in the performances as singers.
“The fact they’ll be working on a contemporary play will be wonderful for their personal development,” said Carol.
To find out more, visit www.adventuresinwastealnd.com.
Al’s Adventures in Wasteland will be performed at Rhodes on Thursday, July 5 and Friday, July 6, with performances at 10.30am, 1.30pm and 6pm daily.