Post written by: Erin Walcon
Last night at the Palace Theatre in Paignton, we brought all our Doorstep groups together for the first time, in an enormous platform event called Up and Away. This was a big stepping stone achieved – made possible through our funding from Arts Council England and Esmee Fairbairn Foundation.
Throughout this spring term, all our groups have been devising and creating original performances, inspired by the theme of Neverland. On Friday 31 March 2017, they all came together to share their stories, their dances, their songs and their laughter.
Orchestrating a platform event for 100 performers aged 4 to 21 is no simple task, but thanks to a huge and hardworking collaborative team, it was joyful.
There were children up there who had never been on a stage before. The best moments were the unexpected accidental ones – where children showed us that they are the ultimate improvisers.
It was a joy to watch the older participants take care of the little ones – both backstage and artistically – helping them to fly.
In the four years that we’ve been doing this work in Torbay, we’ve seen children’s confidence bloom and blossom, their understanding of their own power grow. As one boy said last night, ‘I’m bigger when I’m on stage.’
An enormous and heartfelt thank you to everyone who made last night’s event possible. We can’t think of a better way to launch the spring Doorstep Theatre festival. Up and away we go!