Greenwich launches new children’s theatre festival

Published April 17, 2008

Greenwich theatre has revealed details of its inaugural children’s theatre festival taking place during the Easter school holidays. The festival, which runs from 18-29 March, includes a programme of shows at the South London venue as well as two off-site events at locations in the Greenwich area.

The festival opens on 18 March with Cloudcuckooland, a new children’s musical by Stephen Sharkey based on Aristophanes’s The Birds. The show tells the story of Swift and McFly, two birds who are so fed up with the dirty town they live in that they decide to found a new city in the sky. But the birds want revenge on the human race for destroying their habitat and set out to cause damage to mankind in the way they know best.

The programme at the Greenwich continues with Clownderella, a clown version of Cinderella, on 22 March; Japanese drumming group Taiko Meantime, which presents a series of drumming workshops for 11-14 year olds on 25 March; Gomito Productions’ new fantasy show The Sun Dragon on 27 March; and an adaptation of Faustin Charles and Michael Terry’s children’s book The Selfish Crocodile to finish the festival on 29 March.

Also during the fortnight Greenwich takes audiences outside the theatre’s walls for two productions: Indefinite Articles performs its improvised play-with-clay show for 3-6 year olds, Claytime, at the Tramshed in Woolwich on 19 March; while on 23 March a free outdoor performance by Gandini Jugglers will be held in Cutty Sark Gardens.

James Haddrell, Director of Greenwich theatre, commented: “It sounds like a cliché but children really are the theatre audiences of the future, and if they discover how exciting a trip to the theatre can be when they’re young then they’re far more likely to come back as teenagers, as young adults and beyond… I’m delighted that, as well as attracting some of the best children’s theatre companies in the country to pay a visit to Greenwich, we are also programming a couple of events outside of the theatre. We are just beginning to spread our wings and as the festival grows over the years to come that’s something I would hope to see happening more and more.”

CB