This week it’s Kids Court so, in honour of the brilliant 8-11 year olds taking over the Royal Court , we’ve asked some Open Court writers and actors, plus Royal Court staff members, to take a trip down memory lane and send us pictures of them as tiny theatre fans! Some of our contributors even sent us a short piece they wrote when they were younger, or told us what they would have written about, to get us geared up for Prime Time.
Ned Bennett, Director of Prime Time, age 10
Chris James, International Projects Manager, Age 10
“I’m pretty sure I would have written something about the damned unfairness of having your mother knit your school jumper and your dad cut your hair when everyone else bought their uniforms from Trewins in Watford and went to a barber who didn’t make them look like Spock from the original series of Star Trek. The bitterness, of course, belies the cheery faÃ§ade I presented to the world in those days. We all harbour secret pain, even then.”
Sam Swann, Actor, Prime Time, age 8
Imogen Doel, Actor, Primetime
Christine Entwistle, Actor, Primetime
Chloe Todd Fordham, Literary Assistant, aged 11
“It’s 1997 and I’m 11. We entertain ourselves in the playground by playing ‘who can say bovine spongiform encephalopathy’ the fastest, and the colours red and blue are all of a sudden acquiring a deeper meaning. I am beginning to learn how cruel people can be, firstly because the only kid to vote ‘blue’ in 6P’s class election was subsequently beaten up in the playground, and also because I’ve just been told about battery hens, something that inspires me to write an angry letter to the newly elected Tony Blair. I didn’t write a play in 1997 but if I had…? Definitely a state of the nation epic – with chickens.”
Dion, Communications Officer, age 8
“If I had written a play back then it would no doubt have been about animals. I was going through the I-want-to-be-a-vet phase and was completely obsessed. It most probably would have been co-authored by my imaginary friend, Joseph.”
Zoe Hurwitz, Production Assistant, Age 10
Clare Lizzimore, Writer, Mint, Age 8
“I can remember a short story I wrote at this age about a sponge who was really grumpy and unhappy because he was covered in Jam; and he spoke to the soap and asked if she’d be his friend, and had all kinds of run-ins with the hot water, and frustrations with the table. An early play of a kind, with a sponge protagonist. I can remember really trying, very earnestly, to empathise with the sponge and how he’d feel about everything.”
Fly Davis, Associate Designer, age 5
Joel Horwood, Writer, Big Idea:Collaboration, age 4
“I think I would have written a play set under water about a jellyfish made out of actual jelly and who thought he was a dog. It would have been called ‘Underwater Jellyfish Dog’.”
Louise Stephens Alexander, Literary Assistant, Age 8
“I reproduce here a poem I wrote when I was 13 as I can still remember it. It’s a bit portentous AND pretentious:…
A blank creation
Stares back beyond my shining surface
Light cuts light
Against my blade
And screams –
A sound which human ears can’t comprehend
Thy power is none
Your might is nothing, against mine
I laugh at you, mere humans,
Busily connecting threads of different lives.
You do not see my couching stance.
Rejecting light from gleaming sides.”
Holly Gladwell, Administrator, age 10
“I asked my mum what I would have written about aged eight and she said it would have been about wanting to be at stage school. I feel quite unoriginal but I did want to be Julie Andrews…”
Rebecca Humphries, Actor, Prime Time, age 11
Penelope Skinner, Writer and curator, Big Idea:Age, age 8
Once upon a time in England there lived a little girl called Sabrina Arianthu this is how I describe her – longish wavy hair brown eyes red cheeks and white teeth she was seven years old and also her hair was very blond. The story starts when Sabrina was going on a trip with Sally her friend. Sabrina arrived at the house she and sally where to stay in when Sally kept on saying that she saw little green people in her soup that she was eating and they have long green noses said sally. “Ha ha ha” laughed Sabrina probably saying too many lyes like Pinnochio. Sally said it was true but as soon as Sabrina looked they disappeared. At bed time the girls were sitting up in bed talking when… the same kind of people that had been in Sally’s soup. “Oh!” said Sally. “Oh dear!” They green girl with the long nose said “meet me tomorrow ok” “em ok” said Sabrina. But you have no legs said Sabrina. But the green girl only said wait and see…”
Rachel Pronger, Communications Assistant, age 11
“If you need context that’s me about to watch Mamma Mia on a rare trip to London with my mum. When I was 11 I bloody loved musicals and used to write my own (obviously terrible) Andrew Lloyd Webber rip offs in my bedroom then act bits out with my friends. Hopefully my tastes are a bit more sophisticated now, but I still have a soft spot for Evita…”
Prime Time will feature twelve short plays written by 8-11 year olds for the Royal Court’s Young Writers Festival 2012 and the Peckham Young Playwrights Project. These plays will be performed as productions in the Jerwood Theatre Downstairs by a company of professional actors and directed by Ned Bennett.
Click here for more information or to book tickets for Kids Court.