17 January 2010
A lot of people - including very experienced practioners in children's theatre - have been commenting on how concentrated the audience of 500+ children, sometimes as young as six, have been watching the two hours of SKELLIG; a play that delves into evolution, illness, angels and William Blake...not the obvious subjects to hold the attention of a rowdy audience of children as they enter the theatre. And yet there they have sat, in complete, concentrated silence for two hours. You can cut the intensity with a knife. Quite unlike those children we constantly read about who have apparently lost the ability to focus on anything longer than a few minutes.
So what has David Almond done to enrapture his audience? Maybe it's not too hard when you think what's offered to children these days with the likes of LAZY TOWN or SPONGE BOB SQUAREPANTS. Maybe it's because David didn't set out to write a children's story and never underestimated his audience. Instead he's clearly challenged them - and they're lapping it up with glee.
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