Theatre Explorers and Make Believe, Sunday 1st July, 11:30am, Royal Exchange Theatre
Words by Yassir Alrufaee
As I enter the Royal Exchange Theatre I see deluxe designs of the original building, which is very interesting. When you come to a place like this, you see straight away that you’re in a different world. What I enjoy is seeing a calm place where children can play around in an organised way, making the Royal Exchange to be even more an unbelievable place.
A member of staff welcomes me and seems pleased that I have come to blog the event for them. She takes me to the area where the activities will happen, somewhere on the second floor. Walking into the room, the children are deep into their activities while listening to stories, looking like they are in a completely different planet.
I sit in the corner and start to listen to what is happening and what the children are doing. At first, the kids do a small exercise to ‘refresh’ their brains. Each child touches their ears or elbows or shoulders, depending on what the activity leader says. The orders get quicker and the children get hyper and giggly and ready for the next stage.
The following activity involves objects. The children take these objects and have to use their imagination in order to create a function for these things. A child’s imagination is definitely more creative than an adult’s, which can be seen from the amazing ideas coming out of these young minds, showing their ever-developing intelligence.
Next we get told a story about a giant, which I find amazing (and maybe the best part of the day). The giant lives in a village and the villagers get upset with him because he destroys their properties. The giant eventually leaves the people of the village, but then they go on a search after him. It might seem like a boring story, but Andy, the storyteller, makes it very interesting, stopping throughout to ask the children for the next part. A wave of hands rise when the questions are asked, leaving me impressed with how attentive they are. Andy’s sound effects might have helped.
Keeping the children’s attention once more, Andy rounds up the story by saying, ‘I need someone to help me finish the last part. My brain is empty’. I can see how the children liked this last remark and it was their last chance to be part of this well-told tale.
I left the Royal Exchange Theatre pleased to have been involved in this fantastic experience. I would advise every young adult to take part in activities like these as it opens up doors to other worlds (and more fun!).
Yassir is a student at The Manchester Academy.