THE Mercury Theatre brought its touring show Not Now Bernard to Woodside Academy in Grays recently as part of the Royal Opera House Thurrock Trailblazer programme.
Woodside Academy chose the show to coincide with their Book Week. Not Now Bernard is a book by David McKee about a child coming to terms with having to share his parents’ attention with a new baby. The Mercury Theatre’s production bought the book to life with slapstick comedy, a simple set and the creative use of everyday items to make the monsters and mountains and other figments of Bernard’s imagination.
Children from Years 1 and 2 saw the show and then class teachers used it during Book Week to develop literacy, using the themes of change and growing up.
Janet Dada, Trailblazer Cultural Champion at Woodside Academy said ‘All the children enjoyed the production and said it was awesome, especially the Green Monster! One of the year two classes re-enacted it in assembly. It was such an amazing experience for them. ‘
Thurrock Trailblazer is a Cultural Entitlement Initiative. The programme, commissioned by Thurrock Council, uses a whole-school approach to inspire and engage young people, raise aspiration and improve educational attainment through the arts and culture. There are 28 Thurrock Trailblazer Schools and the Royal Opera House is developing targeted offers for these schools to engage with its work in Covent Garden and Thurrock and broker new relationships between schools and other cultural providers.