The Berry Theatre’s Drama Development Team gave a thrilling introduction to ‘The Legends of Sir Bevis’ to a host of 90 Year 5 pupils from Freegrounds Junior School in Hedge End, who will be performing the play at the theatre on March 10th.
The brand new play, funded by Agincourt 600 and written by writer Matt Beames, has been adapted from the original medieval texts which depicted Sir Bevis as an all-action hero and were read and loved by the young Henry V.
The children were treated to a sneak peek of what they’ll be rehearsing at school over the next eight weeks, with epic swordfights, the blossoming romance between Sir Bevis and Josian and even a fire-breathing dragon drawing more than a few gasps from the young audience.
Once the team had finished their live trailer to a round of applause, Drama Development Manager Daniel Hill revealed that it was, in fact, the pupils who would be performing on stage at the 306-seat venue, prompting a wave of nervous excitement amongst The Berry Theatre’s newest actors.
Next up were three mini-workshops and a tour of the theatre, taking the three classes backstage to the dressing rooms, up to the technical area for a quick lighting lesson and then onto the stage itself to work with Daniel on a few acting tips, helping set them up for the big performance.
Full of enthusiasm and questions such as “Can I be the dragon?” and “When do we know what parts we’ve got?”, the Freegrounds pupils left excited to get started on learning Matt Beames’ script, who was also present to introduce himself and his work to the fledgling cast.
Photo: The Berry Drama Development Team pose in costume for The Legends of Sir Bevis – (from left to right: Lewis Mullins, Holly Scott, Daniel Hill and Lucy Fennell). Photo by Robyn O’Mahony.