One of the most fun ways to perform as an actor or dancer is in street theatre! As part of a festival or with a special licence, the world can literally be your stage. At arts festivals up and down the country, pavements, town squares and park benches become theatres and our students were keen to experience the ups and downs of this most quirky of performances.
We were lucky enough to secure slots at the Hebden Bridge Arts Festival for our performers to showcase their talents and embrace the challenges of street performing…which can range from sweltering under a relentless sun to sloshing through your performance in torrential rain, performing to no one or trying to project your voice across crowds stood ten deep!
Our A6T sixth form performing arts company had developed their performance over the last few months; the theme of the festival was “Water” so they researched the floods that affected Hebden Bridge and many other areas on Boxing Day 2015. Using interviews and newspaper articles with people whose homes and businesses were flooded, the students combined dance, movement and verbatim theatre resulting in a piece that one audience member described as “moving and quite emotional, it really captured exactly what it was like here during the floods”.
Dancers from years 9 and 10 then also took to the stage (or rather the cobbles – nothing like an extra-challenge!) with a number of specially choreographed pieces, again all around the “Water” theme. Artfully mastering the use of props such as umbrellas and with crowds cheering them on from the hay bales, our dancers wowed their audiences and even those passing in their cars!
Taking part in an outdoor festival is a great experience and we’re already looking for next year’s venues!