Drama and conflict in the school classroom

What's on.
What's on.

Talented teenagers from the Kaleidoscope Youth Theatre Company are preparing to take to the stage for their latest drama production, James Graham’s Bassett.

Set in the citizenship class at Wootton Bassett School, Bassett is a pacey, funny and exhausting look at young people who have inherited a world at war; who, as they grow older, are starting to ask questions about these conflicts, their country, and themselves.

It’s bad enough that the supply teacher has gone ‘a bit nuts’, doing a runner and locking the pupils in, but tensions are higher than normal, on a day when only yards from their confinement a repatriation of fallen British soldiers is happening along the high street – as it has over a hundred times before through this quiet Wiltshire town. However, this one is more personal than most…

The Bassett cast is made up of Kaleidoscope students aged 14 to 17, under the direction of the opera house’s recently-appointed Learning and Participation Officer, Craig Sanders.

The actor, director and teacher trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, Trinity College and the California Institute of the Arts, before moving on to study at Rose Bruford College of Theatre and Performance.

He said: “The play touches on some fantastic themes that currently affect the young people of today and the whole play centres around a classroom full of students as they go on this journey to find their position in the world.

“Whilst the country commemorates the First World War, Bassett helps us to question our current wars.

“Bassett is a challenging play and it demands a highly emotionally-charged performance from every actor.

“Every rehearsal is full of interesting creative surprises and they’ve certainly risen to and embraced the challenge.

“The performers have really connected with their characters and the issues in the play so much that rehearsals have been spine tingling and sometimes reduce me to tears.”

He added: “I am delighted that I have been able to direct this fantastic play with such talented, enthusiastic and committed members of the youth theatre.”

Performances of Bassett will take place at the Pavilion Arts Centre on Friday April 11 and Saturday April 12, starting at 7.30pm.

Tickets, priced £7, can be purchased on 0845 127 2190 or at www.buxtonoperahouse.org.uk.