I have been working with a group of disadvantaged 13-19 year-olds on a version of the Pinocchio story called Runaway Boy. Using funds raised from BBC Children in Need programme we have been using theatre techniques and the extraordinary transformative nature of theatre, to change these young people’s lives.
The piece has been an outstanding success and the young people have changed significantly in areas such as confidence, interpersonal skills and teamwork. At school attainment has been raised, disruptive behavior has diminished and the quality of the classwork has improved significantly.
The piece has no set and is reliant on the 26 young people involved to create everything in the Collodi story from houses to forests from Tunny fishes to Sharks, coaches and donkeys. Mask work is a very big part of the storytelling as well as dance and a huge amount of movement including a 22 person pigeon.
we have a short preview piece on You Tube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tOBqz8YSeTA there will be a further video of the production with feedback available next month.