Our eight year-old and three of his friends attended the Harry Potter Wizard School, the Narnia and the Star Wars workshops at 930am for an hour at Spotlites.
Led by Spotlites performers (do they ever rest?) these are warm hearted and skilfully delivered sessions. We received reports of storytelling, games involving finding things, facing the baddies and even some face make up.
Doing a bit of digging as the adult reviewer not allowed in, I discoverreal performers, offering an hour that plays with simplicity, gets the children doing drama in a non-threatening way, giving everyone a chance to be involved, and lighting up their imaginations quickly and without resorting to gimicks and what I’ll called "garish CBBCism".
These sessions are not adorned with plastic light sabers or wands but are based on simple imagination and drama games with a story or two thrown in.
In each session the essential elements of Potter, Narnia, Dr Who, or Jedi are covered and the kids find themselves immersed in the essence of the stories, and not a flickering screen in sight. When sonic screwdrivers are invoked, it’s with a sense of playfulness rooted in the real imagination. That’s rare up here at the Fringe, which often seeks to over-stimulate and poke the nintendo toddlers with a neon stick. Not so, Spotlites who carry traditional theatre and family values at heart, even unto the moment of seeing each child safely off the premises.
Particular favourites for our young’n were the Quidditch match and Dealing with Voldemort!
They particularly enjoyed it when they were "doing stuff", and wanted it to last longer ! One niggle: All three said they’d have like to have been offered a glass of water.
These sessions engage the children by using theatre to immerse them in things they usually read about and mostly sit passively watching. They put children into an imagination space without unnecessary gimmicks and reliance on garish colours and gadgetry. Big plus that !The children arrive at 1030 looking refreshed and enlivened. What more could you ask?
Our 8 year-old and his two friends, one eight and one nine, went to different workshops.
Star Wars – The Force Unleashed on Monday 13th August
Harry Potter – Wizard School on Tuesday 14th August
Narnia – Knights and Princesses on Wednesday 15th August
The Jedi and The Timelords on Saturday 18th August.
Star ratings ranged consistently in the fours and fives!
Further dates and details here