What do you do in a bank and why do grown ups drink coffee? Kids ask the important questions

grown up

grown up - Credit: Archant

Netley primary pupils will perform a play based on adults’ replies to their questions about growing up

A quintet of primary pupils will perform a professional play that answers their own questions about growing up.

Gameshow theatre company held workshops at Netley Primary School asking children of all ages for their queries about adulthood.

They then put them to adults living and working near the school in West Euston and edited the anwers into a one-hour play Grown Up.

A cast of five 10-year-olds from Netley perform it at Camden People’s Theatre in Hampstead Road.

Gameshow co-director Matthew Evans said: “Netley is just around the corner from the theatre. We gathered hundreds of questions about anything the children were interested in, ranging from body hair to what you do in a bank, how you get a house and why do adults drink coffee. There are also more poignant ideas of love and romance, death and loss.

“The children are just starting to engage with the politics of their world, learning about climate change, problems of food distribution, the impact of elections and referendums and that a lot of people in the world are not as fortunate as we are.”

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The intergenerational participatory project exploring the gap between what we teach children and what they want to know scooped the inaugural People’s Theatre Award earning £1500 towards production costs.

Gameshow, which previously worked with CPT on a project sounding out community feelings about the impending impact of HS2, then put the questions in interviews with adults from the community.

“We edited it down to five voices with the children speaking the words of the adults. The school is mixed socially and racially and the cast reflects that. It’s a great model for how a mixed community can work together.”

National Theatre resident director Emily Lim who has a background in community theatre and working with non professionals, has coaxed performances from the youngsters.

“The most exciting and enjoyable part of the process is working with the children, who are brilliant,” says Evans. “It’s so exciting seeing them learning about how a professional production works and about growing up through the words and advice of real grown ups in their area.”

He hopes audiences leave with a sense of “what it is to be growing up in today’s world”.

“Perhaps they will think back to their own childhood and question the world that grown ups today have created for future grown ups and whether it is good enough. Or stimulate people to change the world so we leave these wonderful 10-year-olds to go on and change it for the better.”

Featuring some strong language Grown Up runs October 27-29 and is suitable for children aged 10 and up and their families with performances starting at 7pm so no-one gets to bed too late. Cptheatre.co.uk