Primetime 2017: New plays written by children aged eight to 11 tour London primary schools

Published on Fri 23 Jun 2017

Throughout June the Royal Court Theatre have toured a series of short plays written by children between the ages of eight and 11 to nine primary schools in London boroughs. Following the tour Primetime will be performed at the Royal Court’s Jerwood Theatre Upstairs, on 23 and 24 June 2017.

Primetime is a free primary schools tour that has been running for the past five years. The tour is accompanied by playwriting workshops, to inspire children who have seen the play to become writers themselves. Each autumn a selection of children are then invited to playwriting groups, run by a Royal Court playwright. During these workshops the children are taught the craft of playwriting, and a selection of these plays are then chosen for next year’s tour. The plays are directed, performed and designed by professionals to give the young playwrights the same opportunities as their older counterparts. Primetime improves literacy and imagination in its audiences, and, as of 2017, the Royal Court have toured 32 plays to 55 schools, and performed to over 4000 children.

The 2017 Primetime plays are written by Hezron Bavananthan, Ava Reid, Madhuksharaa Sekar, Sujit Jawahar Selvam, Safiyya Amin, Michel Molekela, Moses Lopes and Tehya Payne who are all primary school children aged eight to 11 from Merton, Richmond, Harrow, Brent and Barnet.

Commenting on Primetime Ava Reid, aged 11 said;

I came up with Harry and Rebecca and it involved a field and a horse and she found Harry on the ground. And she had to go and find a cure from a magic old woman and she had a deadline of 3 weeks to save Harry’s life.”

Sujit Jawahar Selvam, aged 10 added;

“I love writing plays as it brings out the creativity in me and this has given me that opportunity to see what I visualise, on stage. The idea first came to my mind when my friend asked me what super power I would love to have been born with and my immediate response was invisibility which I wanted my character Ribber to experience in the invisible world. My play is important because it tells people that doing things in the right way means no punishment.”

Moses Lopes, aged 9 describing writing Paper Cuts said;

I found it fun, and I’m really good at writing stories. It was between drawing and video games. I’ve already made up stories about video games so I picked drawing. It’s slightly a challenge because I don’t want my stories to be silly and must have sense.” 

Romana Flello, Young Court Manager added;

“This year’s Primetime is an immersive experience which gives real agency to the writers and audience. The writers have been involved in the entire process, we have rehearsed with children at Camelot Primary School and empowered the audience during the workshops and performance to have a real ownership of the show; creating music, building set, performing and being in the playing space with the actors, smashing any notion of adults preaching to children but it all being entirely theirs. This agency and immersion was celebrated by our first visit to a SEN (special educational needs) school with Primetime, through the design being completely accessible and empowering to all. As Young Court’s projects are about youth led work, it feels natural that our youngest participants should have this experience too.”

The Primetime plays toured to Heathbrook Primary School in Lambeth, Invicta Primary School in Greenwich, Globe Primary School in Tower Hamlets, Sudbury Primary School in Brent, Brentfield Primary School in Brent, Mulberry Primary School in Haringey, Barn Croft Primary School in Walthamstow, Ickburgh School in Hackney and Berrymede Junior School in Ealing.

Primetime is directed by Associate Director for the Royal Court, Hamish Pirie. With design by Rosie Elnile, composition and sound design by Xana and choreography by Sarah Golding.

Cast includes Alex Austin, Eben Figueiredo, Sarah Golding, Kiran Landa and Clare Perkins.

The work was developed by Young Court, the Royal Court’s inclusive programme of activities by, for and with young people up to the age of 25.

For the full press release click here.