A youth theatre group explored serious life lessons with a thought-provoking performance.
The cast of 17 nine and ten-year-olds from the Princes Youth Theatre staged How to be a Kid, the heart-warming, sensitive, uplifting and fun play by Sarah McDonald-Hughes.
The play tells the story of a little hero Molly, played by nine-year-old Holly Moreton, who cooks, cleans and looks after her brother Joe – portrayed by Rebecca Barnard also aged nine – when Molly’s mum becomes depressed and ‘can’t cope’ after the death of her mother. It explores serious life lessons including the different ways people process grief, the resilience people are capable of in times of adversity, and – most importantly – the need for families to talk openly about how they feel.
Performed in a studio setting on the Princes Theatre stage, the play was directed by drama student Daniel Barnard – himself only aged 17-years-old and hot on the heels of winning the Arts category at the Tendring Youth Awards.
Melissa Wenn, Youth Theatre Principal, said the play and the issues it confronts are very important for young people.
“The play is totally uplifting and highlights the value of imagination and what makes a strong family, and its explanation of mental illness for a young audience is perfectly, sensitively pitched,” she said.
“The Princes Theatre is providing an educational platform to explore such issues – past productions have dealt with the pressures of social media on young people and the effects an aging population will have on our young people in the future – while also giving young people production experience in directing and technical theatre.”
Councillor Alex Porter, Cabinet Member for Leisure and Tourism at Tendring District Council, which runs the Princes Theatre, added: “As well as providing quality entertainment for audiences, the Princes Theatre is also supporting stage stars of the future and giving them a platform – and it is a delight to see such young talent in our district.”