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24 July 2014
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You are in: Coventry and Warwickshire > Blast > Acting Out in the city centre

Young street performers

Acting Out

Acting Out in the city centre

I caught up with a group of young actors from the Belgrade Theatre who were performing a piece of street theatre about the stereotypical kinds of people you might come across in a busy city.

If you were out shopping in Coventry City Centre on Saturday, 20 July you may have come across a group of young actors from the Belgrade Theatre performing a short piece of street theatre in Shelton Square.

Despite the miserable weather and the odd noisy street cleaner going past, the actors managed to put together a 15-minute performance telling the story of four characters whose worlds inter-connect with life changing results.

Street Theatre in Coventry

As well as the production being an exhibition of acting talent, there were also costumes made by Anna Lewis, the winner of this year’s MAD UK design competition. Original music and sound effects were recorded by Coventry favourite Si Hayden to create an eerie atmosphere for the piece.

Tom Bailey the Belgrade Theatre’s Senior Drama Worker commented that the piece of drama was devised and created by the young people and he simply “directed it and knitted it all together”.

Street Theatre in Coventry

Street Theatre in Coventry

The production began with the actors having a virtual walk around the city centre in the rehearsal room. “They have had to learn to look beneath the surface of these seemingly normal characters and find that every one of us has a story to tell” said Tom.

The actors aged between 15 and 16 are all part of a programme called Acting Out.

Dean

Dean enjoyed his performance

The Belgrade’s new work-related learning course provides young people with the opportunity to take part in drama activity and gain two BTEC certificates in Performing Arts at the same time.

Tom sees Acting Out as “a fantastic opportunity” for young people of today and he believes that “people are starting to realise what drama is as far as communication and developing personal skills”.

One of the young people involved was Dean from Holbrooks who got involved in Acting Out through the help of his school. He admitted that if it wasn’t for this programme he may never have got involved in drama but he is grateful for the opportunity and he hopes that this experience will lead on  to bigger and better things.

Street Theatre in Coventry

Street Theatre in Coventry

I also spoke to a young girl who played one of the cleaners in the piece and she told us how horribly nervous she was before the performance, but its “the buzz” she gets out of it afterwards, that makes her want to do it all again.

Not only have the children expressed their delight about Acting Out, but the parents have too, saying the programme has made their children more confident and focused, and brought out the best in them.

Many people in the crowd who stopped to watch the performance thought the idea of street theatre to be very unusual and as confused as they were by the piece, they seemed to enjoy what they saw.

last updated: 24/07/07

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