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Little Actors have Big Impact

InterACT Youth Theatre has created a verbatim performance based on people’s experiences of the pandemic. As they prepare to share it in Stanney Fields Park this month, they ask the community to come and support their efforts.

Part of the Covid-19 Reflections programme, a commission from Cheshire West & Chester Council enabled the Little ActorsTheatre Company's InterACT Youth group to reflect on the world impacting event they recently lived through and look forward to their brighter futures.

Clockwise from top left: Sophie, Lucy, Lexi, Anya, Catriona and Kiahna – members of the Little Actors share their Covid-19 Reflections which they will preform in live performances on 21st and 23rd October

Over the summer local people’s memories and stories were audio recorded and since September a hugely talented group of 12 young people have been working hard to put together a verbatim theatre presentation based on the audio they received.

“Everyone told me about how much fun I would have at that age but how was I going enjoy it?"

The audio reflections were from adults in the community including retiree Geoff Wright, student Jonathan Stevens, resident Kate Spencer and Neston Angels volunteer, Dy Brown. The young people also contributed their own reflections.

“Everyone told me about how much fun I would have at that age but how was I going enjoy it if I was being told I had to lockdown?” Ethan, one of the Little Actors performing the words of Jonathan will ask. “The only thing that I could do was go on walks and watch TV. Luckily there were a few places to walk like the Wirral Way, which definitely helped to calm everyone down.”

In his own experience, which he will share later in the performance, however, Ethan remembers how not everyone was quite so calm – one man in particular who reacted badly to Ethan being close to his property when people were particularly anxious about social distancing.

“He walks up to me. He bends down. He gets really, really close. He starts shouting at me. He tells me, go away. He tells me how I'm breaking the law. He tells me I'm on his property and I'm just a young eight-year-old waiting for my mum.

Ethan remembers a frightening interaction with an adult man, seemingly anxious about the virus, when he was just eight-year-old

“Once we had got home, I told my mum everything that happened. I started crying and I was really scared of him. I never wanted to go back on that street again.”

Despite adverse experiences like this however, the overriding theme of the reflections were positive, with people saying that during the pandemic they enjoyed going for walks and having time with family. Most of the children agreed they did not like home schooling and were glad to be back in the classroom. Many people felt the pandemic brought people and the community together in a shared experience – albeit difficult.

The young people have been so enthusiastic and committed to this project and have worked on a very tight time scale of only seven rehearsals. They hope as many community members as possible will join them as they share their performance – which will go ahead whatever the weather.

InterACT Youth Theatre presents Reflections, a verbatim theatre presentation at Stanney Fields Park on Saturday 21st October at 2.30pm. It is a free event and everyone is welcome.

The young people will also attend Theatre Porto on Monday 23rd October to present their creation at the Covid-19 Reflections Sharing Event, where people from all aspects of the project will come together.

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