You may recall the old show biz adage about never working with children or animals. Well, I can tell you that the kids that work with Natural Theatre are a delight. Full of imagination and dying to get out on the street to entertain Mr and Mrs Public. Some of them arrive bearing a distinct lack self esteem, but just one outing in a conehead mask and they are raring to have another go!
And as for ideas, they’ve had some pretty good ones of late. Two young men decided to go out dressed as Nanook of the North in full-length fur coats, despite it being mid-June, and pretend to catch fish in the drains at the sides of the city centre streets. The comments they got from passers-by were priceless. We’re thinking of pinching the idea!
Last week a group of girls devised a piece involving trainee angels, resplendent in false wings and ‘L’ plates. A teacher spotted them in town and said of one particular student that she’d never seen her looking so confident or happy. So you see it works, ladies and gentlemen!
Our regular youth theatre has been a great success with over forty kids enrolled. Now we’re organising a Summer School which will keep the tykes occupied for a whole week of the summer holidays. There’s a course for the littlies too, with mask making and creative fun. Activities are based in our beautiful new street theatre studio, but being street theatre, the participants will certainly be seen out and about for your amusement and delectation.
The Naturals are renowned for doing naughty things in the street. Now they are teaching kids their dastardly tricks. Can’t be wrong.
As for animals, we once had to take part in a theatrical event in a German circus that involved a naked woman painted all over like a leopard and a real live hippo. The cast entered on elephants and then acted out a dinner party scene while leopard lady watched them hungrily from the bare branches of a tree overhead. The main characters then delivered endless speeches on deep and meaningful subjects.
It was a rather pretentious affair, for which the hippo rightly showed its distain by turning its back on the audience and spraying them with liberal quantities of wee.
Full details of the Summer Schools are on http://www.naturaltheatre.co.uk