IF you’re looking for something really different and exciting to do with the kids, then look no further!
Down Arts Centre and Replay Theatre Company bring you an exhilarating thriller for 6 to 11 year olds and their families, The School Underneath, which comes to the Annesley Hall, Newcastle, at 3pm on Saturday 4 June.
Pyrotechnics, illusions, giant pencil cases, madcap and mayhem are all part of the school routine in the exciting parallel universe of The School Underneath, where everyday objects are filled with wonder and magic, and absolutely anything can happen. This is an edge-of-your-seat tale of clocks that keep speeding up, dinner ladies with a terrifying secret and, most of all, friendship.
The School Underneath is a rare piece of theatre – a thriller written specifically for children. It’s a genuine white-knuckle performance in which the children will find themselves seated cheek by jowl with the actors and pitched into the thick of the action.
“The piece has many layers of meaning but at its heart is the power of the imagination,” says Replay’s new artistic director Anna Newell, who was closely involved in the devising process.
“It considers the whole notion of what, in a child’s world, it means to be ‘normal’ or ‘ordinary’ and how, simply by opening your heart, your mind and your imagination, things around you can become extraordinary and magical.”
For the past 23 years of its life, Replay has made an art form out of transforming a whole host of unlikely venues like school halls, libraries, playgrounds and assembly halls into exciting theatrical spaces. This time around, they will be carrying that skill several steps further.
“We will set up a very boring looking classroom in each performance area,” explains Newell. “The children will come in and will probably think they are in the dullest place on earth. They sit down on cushions and are invited to engage their imaginations. Then the scary bits and the fun begin. They will see fire coming out of people’s hands and children like themselves leaping out of a giant pencil case as they are caught up in a nail-biter of a thriller.”
To purchase tickets (£5 per person) and for further information, please contact the Down Arts Centre box office on 028 4461 2233. The Ultimate Guide is available for download at www.downartscentre.com and can be picked up throughout the district.