Amy chats to Lucy Quick co-founder and Principal of children’s drama school Perform. Perform have an upcoming children’s theatre festival, which will be Central London’s first ever children’s theatre festival! Opening this summer in Coram’s Fields, Bloomsbury, the six-week festival includes four musicals, including two original productions and opens on 28 and 29 July, with previews from 22 July and running until 28 August.
Hi Lucy, tell us about Perform.
I started Perform 23 years ago! I wanted to create a children’s drama school that focused
entirely on the benefits of drama, dance and singing as opposed to being a stage school which worked on talent and sending children to auditions. (I’d been a very shy child growing up and performing arts lessons helped me grow hugely in confidence so I know first-hand how transformational they can be). We work on the 4 Cs – which are confidence, communication, coordination and concentration so every lesson is based around helping the children develop these skills – as well as hopefully being the best fun of the week!
Tell us a bit about the process to bring the children’s theatre festival to life.
It’s an incredibly fun process which brings all sorts of departments together. After securing our amazing site at Coram’s Fields we set about creating our pop-up theatre by putting in a team to design and build the structure and site. I’m lucky to be working with some amazing and very experienced people who are all very committed to the idea of producing Central London’s first ever Children’s Theatre Festival.
What do you have planned for this year’s festival?
We have 4 fantastic children’s musicals planned. For younger children we have “The Three Billy Goat’s Gruff” presented by Lost the Plot which is for 2-7 year olds. We’re thrilled to be producing the European Premiere of “Elephant and Piggie’s – We are in a Play” which is a fantastic musical based on the Mo Willems’ best selling books. My business partner used to read them to his children and we both fell in love with the music. We’re also producing 2 brand new shows for older children. “Mermaids and Pirates” for 4-11 year olds and “The Dream” for 7-14 year olds. The Dream is a modern day version of Shakespeare’s classic “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”. Finally, for older children we have some very exciting special guest star events planned – so it should be a really diverse festival of children’s theatre for children from aged 2-16.
What is your favourite thing about this festival?
As a mum – I love the thought that you can take your kids to see a show and then spend the rest of the day in Coram’s Fields park with sandpits, paddling pool and zip wire. I used to take my own children there when they were small and they adored it.
What’s a production you haven’t put on which you would love to see at the festival?
Ooh – good question! I get very excited by new writing and our plan is to keep producing original and high-quality shows – so if there are any writers out there with new shows – we’d love to hear from you! From our own repertoire at Perform, I’m desperate to do “Fairy Tale Forest” one of my favourite shows.
Why do you believe this festival is important?
I think that it’s a perfect summer day out for young families and hopefully for a lot of children it’ll be their first experience of attending a theatre and will inspire them for life. Our ticket prices start at £14.50 so it’s important to us that theatre is accessible. We are working with Coram’s Fields and local schools to donate lots of free tickets to children and that’s always been part of our ethos with the shows we produce.
Was theatre important to you growing up?
Very important. My grandparents were both professional musicians working in theatre during the variety/music hall days with acts such as Morecambe and Wise. I spent my 20s as an actor performing in West End musicals so theatre has always been a huge part of my life.
Finally, when is the festival on and how can people book tickets?
The Festival starts on 22 nd July and you can book tickets here: https://www.perform.org.uk/pitp/contact/pitp/home
We’d love to see you.