Written by Polly Ferguson-Carruthers
It’s difficult to put into words just show proud we are of all the Doorstep DAS children for performing ‘Matilda’ in August. The cast of 75 children blew the house down. They managed to sell out all x3 shows (398 seats per show), blast their voices to incredible tricky songs, learn a lot of lines and flawlessly dance to well-known routines.
We had been working on this production since January 2021 – 6 month process. Now this may seem like a huge amount of time but to put the time scale into perspective. We meet for 1 hr weekly sessions over 2 terms (11 weeks). So that 22hrs, then 1 additional half day rehearsal, add on 3 hrs and then we had a week intensive,.. Add on another 20hrs. So in total they had 42hrs (5 days) to work on a full scale production!!!!
The children and families we work with are so incredibly resilient and committed to ensuring their child/children gets a wide range of opportunities. Yes our sessions focus on drama and developing skills in devising, script writing, directing, singing, dancing and acting but we pride ourselves on doing so much more.
We want to support and enable young people to succeed, we want them to know they can fly high and achieve goals they never dreamed of and know they CAN make the impossible, possible. We bring together children from various backgrounds, demographic & education pathways which then create a beautiful space for dialogue to happen for our children to learn more about themselves and learn about others and the world around them.
During this production children have had opportunities to talk, to get to know each other and importantly learn from each other. There has been peer on peer learning from children aged 7yrs all the way to 19yrs. They’ve laughed, they’ve cried, they’ve danced, they’ve cheered and they’ve grown together.
I asked the groups what they would like to be ‘When they grow up’ inspired by one of the songs from Matilda. Here are some of these responses we received during the term.
‘I want to be a DJ at the weekend but a nurse during the week’.
‘I want to an actor’
‘ I want to be a builder like my dad’
‘I want to be a teacher.’
‘I want to an artist’
‘I want to be a designer ‘
‘I want to have a family’
‘I want to police officers.’
‘ I want to be happy’
Not at one point did these young people hesitate in their answer. They meant it and it’s our jobs to ensure we can support them to the best of our abilities. Drama is so much more than singing, acting and dancing. Our groups provide the opportunity for children to share who they want to be and dream big!