Exeter-based musical director, composer and writer Peter Kyrke-Smith worked with drama & movement director Polly Whitfield to help the two Year 4 classes at Decoy School (in Newton Abbot) create and perform a musical version of Oscar Wilde’s story The Selfish Giant in a single day. This workshop was supported by funding from THF.
Peter has adapted the story and written the music for an entrancing show that captured the imagination of the children, and of the parents and friends who saw the performance at the end of the afternoon. The children - many of whom had never taken part in such an event before - embraced the opportunity with enthusiasm and real commitment, and could be very proud of what they achieved.
We congratulate all the children who took part in the Decoy performance that we hope will live long in the memory. A magical day!
Peter wrote: “We had a FANTASTIC day with the Year 4s at Decoy. They were friendly, focused, hard-working and enthusiastic from start to finish of a long and very concentrated day. There were lots of brand new songs to learn, movement to go with those and some dance work
as well, plenty of script to take on board – and then a performance to family and friends
at the end of the day – and they did BRILLIANTLY!
“Decoy is such a welcoming school to work in, and everything was so well organised for us by their very friendly, supportive & efficient staff. And of course it was so good to know that Helen Foundation funding was a key part of making the day happen."
The children from Year 4 provided really good feedback on their experiences. Archie, who played the lead role as The Selfish Giant, wrote: "I liked the dancing because it made me feel energetic and helped me work on my dance moves for the school disco. I was the Selfish Giant, but I was anxious when it came to speaking in front of an audience and saying my words. I was relived when it was over and my mum said that she was really proud of me."
Evie wrote: "We performed to the parents and they were sooo pleased with the children. They were clapping like mad."
Callum wrote: "We all loved it when we were dancing because it made us feel happy and we could express ourselves."
Livvy said, "I would love to do it again everyday and I am sad that it is over."
Martha said, "I enjoyed it so much especially the singing and dancing. I loved the drama because it was so much up my street."
Chloe said, "When we walked into the hall (and I was the first in line) I saw all the parents and carers all sat down on the benches. I thought to myself you can do it you can do it and I did!"