Forty children, some as young as ten, will be acting in three plays during the Fringe season: Blood Brothers, Skellig and a new play written by the school’s head of English, The Boy in Blue.
Peter Bird, director and author of The Boy in Blue and head of English at Lambrook, says that choosing plays for this age group can be tricky: “While wanting to get away from the typical school ‘panto’, many published plays have very adult themes which might not be suitable for the cast. The Boy in Blue reflects my own boyhood fascination with the unlikely japes of Jennings and other heroes of yesteryear; a horror story where nothing terribly horrible happens! Blood Brothers is a play which offers the talented cast some real challenges, not least playing the twins as they grow up from aged seven to young adulthood.”
Many of the school’s performers are amateurs with no previous experience on stage, either at school or elsewhere.
Jonathan Perry, headmaster at Lambrook, comments: “Arts education can often be undervalued and seen as inferior to what is perceived as more academic subjects. If children are to develop into well-rounded individuals, however, we need to imbue them with the confidence to succeed, the imagination to challenge the norm and the creative spark to make an imprint on our world. Having recently benefitted from a new Performing Arts centre, we want all our children to fully embrace the arts whether that’s participating in a national event, such as the Fringe, or in the humble space of their own living room.”