Rhinegold Photo credit: Ellie Kurttz
Young people were able to participate in the performance in a number of ways, including simulating a meteor shower

Sarah Lambie

The Star Seekers

8:57, 19th June 2018

This summer, from 8 August-1 September, The Wardrobe Ensemble brings their show The Star Seekers to the National Theatre’s Dorfman Theatre to inspire three to eight-year-olds about outer space.

On Friday, I was lucky enough to attend a sneak preview with an invited audience and school group, and I loved it!

Jack Drewry, Jesse Meadons and Ben Vardy in The Star Seekers Photo by Ellie Kurttz

Credit: Ellie Kurttz

Alph, Betty and Gammo, played by Ben Vardy, Jesse Meadows and Jack Drewry, take their audience on an adventure beyond the milky way, large sections of which are improvised based on suggestions from the young people in the audience.

It’s a glorious exploration of the imagination of children, with education and the wonder of theatre woven seamlessly in. On a light-hearted mission to find three orbs which will power an energy drive designed to provide infinite power to the planet (a quiet nod to the need for a solution to our global non-renewable energy problem), Alph, Betty and Gammo visit planets made of whatever the children choose, and meet aliens similarly imagined by the audience. In remarkable feats of quick-fire improvisation they sing songs incorporating the names children have made up for these planets and aliens, as well as inhabiting characters such as stars and even a black hole.

The young people in the audience were completely transported, utterly focussed, and having a ball – especially when given license to participate in a meteor shower by hurling balled-up newspaper at one of the characters. They also raised some really interesting questions at the end – not, as I had anticipated, about space, but about theatre: whether Alph, Betty and Gammo were the actors’ real names; what they had made their set from; how long it had taken them to make the show… Apart from being brilliant fun, therefore, this production serves a dual educational purpose: engaging children as young as 3 with science and art at the same time. I can’t recommend it enough.

Click here to buy tickets and for details about family workshops.

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