Well, that’s me really.
I try to find a balance between a reasonable plot that will give the older groups something to work towards whilst leaving room for us to develop scenes for the younger children so that all are properly involved. I admit certainly ‘Robin Hood’ was wordy but I was thrilled with how some of the students rose to the challenge! The real difficulty is that different groups excel at different things.
Again using Robin Hood as an example, the schools where the cast had learned their lines properly were fantastic. Where the lines hadn’t been learned it made the whole thing drag terribly and gave the impression that the little ones didn’t have much to do. They did, it just took an age to get them back on stage! But that is something we should have picked up earlier and addressed.
As regards giving little ones more to do, we already get messages saying they are getting too stressed due to line/song/dance learning and whilst they may only have a few lines each they are involved and we always make sure they have at least one scene on their own on stage that they drive. The idea is that as children move through the school they get increasing responsibility in the shows. If we did an hour’s show and Green group had to fill 20 minutes of that to fill rehearsed in only 10 weeks it would simply be too much for them. We need to have space to do other things with them too so they are not purely rehearsing all term. So we try and strike a balance to make sure they aren’t overly stressed.
To be fair on us/me we had a very large amount of good feedback on this subject. Many of you seem to really enjoy the scripts we send out and the stories we tell and the number who are critical are in a small minority. But we DO take these criticisms on board - we’ll remain vigilant and try and make sure we’ve pitched things right each time.