This week Ditto Theatre Company wowed young audiences across Shepton with their brand-new production of Rocket Girl which was seen by six Shepton primary schools.
Families were greeted by the theatre company in the playground in the mornings as they arrived at school and were launched straight into intensive astronaut training for new aspiring recruits.
Made possible by Wells Festival of Literature, Mendip Community Fund and The Arts Council, Ditto Theatre performed to Bowlish Infant School, Shepton Mallet Community Infants’ School, St Paul’s C of E (VE) Junior School, Croscombe Primary School, St Aldhelm’s C of E Primary School and Stoke St Michael Primary School.
Rocket Girl told the story of Masie Robinson, a young girl determined to become an astronaut. Set fifty years ago in 1969 when beehives and miniskirts were all the rage and NASA has just put the first man on the moon. From the very moment Masie the central character, saw the man on the moon she knew that she was destined to be an astronaut. In her dreams she travelled beyond the earth’s atmosphere and flew amongst the brightest of stars, but unknown to Maisie, people had other plans about her future. After all, girls don’t do science, do they?
Using an amalgamation of storytelling, puppetry and movement with an original score, Ditto Theatre Company invited young students to join them in making the impossible possible as one girl battled to become… Rocket Girl!
Staff and students alike were very impressed with Ditto Theatre’s exceptional storytelling and performance. Tilia a student from Croscombe school commented: ‘I loved how they made the mannequin look so realistic and lifelike, it moved like a human. The storyline was great and I thought the message it gave to girls, was that they could be whatever they wanted to be and nothing could stop them.’
As well as enjoying the performance, students at Bowlish Infant School and St Aldhelm’s also had the opportunity to participate in a puppetry workshop which explored turning found objects into puppets and identifying the many different types of puppetry.
These performances mark the next phase of Plays in the Playground which has been developed by Louise Lappin-Cook and Teresa Gilbert, Headteacher at Bowlish Infant School, the lead school for the project. All the World’s Our Playground, will feature some of the South West’s finest theatre companies for children and young people and has just been awarded significant funding from The Arts Council Lottery Projects programme.