Now in its fourth year, Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds’ Doorstep Theatre Festival was back for summer 2023 running from 19-30 June. The festival takes high-quality theatre performances, CPD days (continued professional development for teachers and staff) and theatre workshops to rural schools in East Anglia supported by Suffolk County Council and Arts Council England. Doorstep Theatre Festival makes seeing live performances more accessible to schools by lessening the restraints of rural isolation and the financial implications that come with visiting an arts venue by eliminating costs like coach hire, extra staffing and insurance costs.
This year, Doorstep Festival visited 18 schools and gave over 2600 primary school pupils the chance to see live theatre aimed at their age group with The Tap Dancing Mermaid from Tessa Bide (aimed at KS1) and The Not So Grimm Twins from Wrongsemble (aimed at KS2).
Doorstep Theatre Festival aims to inspire young people to connect and enjoy theatre. Theatre helps to develop creativity within children encouraging resourcefulness and flexibility in many aspects of their lives. There is also research to suggest that taking part in theatre encourages divergent thinking (thinking in multiple directions), which can be beneficial for problem-solving, and helps to increase self-esteem and confidence. (Not necessary but nice filler to show WHY we theatre is good for children?)
The Tap Dancing Mermaid from Tessa Bide Production Company
Based on the critically acclaimed book The Tap Dancing Mermaid by Author Tessa Bide, the story follows narrations by the moon on the life of Marina Skippett, an aspiring tap dancer trapped living with her horrible aunt who bans tap dancing from the house. Marina escapes every night to her local boardwalk where she taps freely for everyone to hear until she meets a mysterious water boy and her life is never the same again.
The Not So Grimm Twins from Wrongsemble
Meet the Grimm twins Jake and Will and their little sister Lottie as they tell their tales collected from all over the world to whoever will listen. But sometimes even familiar fairy tales can take a turn for the unexpected, our heroes will need all the help they can get to defeat the creatures of their own creation and save the world!