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All the World's Our Playground

All the World's Our Playground brings together six Shepton Mallet primary schools showcasing high-quality theatre in playgrounds, public spaces and schools.  Reaching 900 students, 2000 family members and over 1500 Shepton Mallet residents at public events.

Students from each school will be involved in commissioning companies. As well as sharing some of the South Wests most exciting and innovative theatre companies for young people in schools and across Shepton Mallet town centre, the project will culminate in a magical performance at St Paul’s Junior School site in March 2020 featuring the students own work alongside professional companies that specialise in puppetry and shadow puppetry. This project is led by Bowlish Infant School and Make the Sunshine Community Interest Company.

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All the World’s Our Playground will work in four key phases:

Phase 1: Plays in the Playground

High calibre performances in playgrounds and schools
Deepening relationship with companies and expanding range

Phase 2: Plays in the Town

Bringing theatre to town centre venues and spaces in Shepton Mallet including summer performances in Collett Park supported by Shepton Mallet Town Council
Building networks in schools through a youth programming board

Phase 3: Plays in our Imagination

Young people programming work and understanding the creative process
Shadow puppetry performances in schools and town centre
Teacher CPD visit to Bristol Puppetry Festival

Author visiting schools to open up creative process of creating a story arc funded by Literature Works. Developing student storyline for March 2020 production

Phase 4: All the World’s Our Playground

Creative performing arts and shadow puppetry workshops for students and community
The project will culminate in an immersive festival at St Paul’s school site featuring all 6 schools with a range of shadow puppetry, creative performances and displays in windows – the show will be a promenade event with the storyline created by schools. This will be complemented by a selection of high calibre professional theatre showcased at the school and in the town centre – the youth panel will select and commission these companies.

The performance / Celebration Event

This will be devised and created by students in Shepton with support from theatre professionals. 

As part of developing the performance students will be asked about

  • Their attitudes to Shepton Mallet

  • What makes them proud of Shepton Mallet

  • What / who they love in Shepton Mallet

  • What they would change

  • If they could go anywhere where would they go – another county / another world / another time

The Story Concept

The performance itself will tell the story of a young girl from Shepton Mallet who wants to travel and experience the world. She follows the light out of Shepton into the world (all the children’s magic spaces). But when she gets there she realises something is lacking. Returns home to find what she needed was here all along with a shadow puppet tour around Shepton (exploring buildings, history, social history, people etc). The story and worlds it uncovers will be the students’ creations. They will also share the things that are special to them about the town and in the process will share some of Shepton Mallet’s history.

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