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Sunday, January 17, 2010


A lot of people - including very experienced practioners in children's theatre - have been commenting on how concentrated the audience of 500+ children, sometimes as young as six, have been watching the two hours of SKELLIG; a play that delves into evolution, illness, angels and William Blake...not the obvious subjects to hold the attention of a rowdy audience of children as they enter the theatre. And yet there they have sat, in complete, concentrated silence for two hours. You can cut the intensity with a knife. Quite unlike those children we constantly read about who have apparently lost the ability to focus on anything longer than a few minutes.

So what has David Almond done to enrapture his audience? Maybe it's not too hard when you think what's offered to children these days with the likes of LAZY TOWN or SPONGE BOB SQUAREPANTS. Maybe it's because David didn't set out to write a children's story and never underestimated his audience. Instead he's clearly challenged them - and they're lapping it up with glee.


At 5:00 PM, Blogger Christopher Barlow said...

I think you are so right.

When i think back to when i was a kid my favourite things on tv were nothing like the teletubbies, lazy town, big chef little chef etc.

I clearly remember the bbcs amazing narnia chronocles,

but even more clearly i remember an incredable tv show by the Jim Henson lot called The Storyteller, written by anthony mighella, and starring John Hurt. they then did a second series called greek tales. these were dark, scarey (really scarey some), intelligent, morall. With fanastic acting, and stunning production values.

Where is tv like this for young people now? they simply wouldn't make the storyteller these days because it would be A) too terrifying and B) theres not enough scope for toy marketing.

its a real shame, and so much theatre has followed suit. so many weak tv shows are now being put on stage with little creativity, just to make money. so its very refreshing to hear how well Skellig is doing, because there really needs to be so much more childrens theatre that doesn't patronise.

well thats my six eggs. :)

take care


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