Children developed character roles in Axmouth Children’s Theatre’s latest production
PUBLISHED: 17:00 06 October 2017
Axmouth Children’s Theatre recently performed Kilmainham Kids. Here Malcolm Henty, director of the group, reflects on the play.
The cast of Axmouth Children’s Theatre (ACT) put on two stunning and moving performances of Paul Shermans Kilmainham Kids recently, in Axmouth Village Hall.
Trialled through the summer as a project, the resulting shows showed some mature and noteworthy performances from the young cast as they tackled the difficult subject of child prisoners in 1849 in Ireland and the Easter uprising of 1916, the two periods were superbly linked by the author with a neat twist at the end.
Having set the stage as near to the actual size of a cell in Kilmainham at that time, the audience were immediately given an insight as to the cramped conditions as each of the children’s story was unravelled and the crimes for which they had been imprisoned became evident.
The cast, made up of under 14-year-olds, took to their roles and developed their characters.
Margaret, accused of stealing a sheep, the youngest was played sympathetically by Elsa Wood
The workhouse girl who was sick was portrayed with maturity by Lilley Smitham, as was the antagonist Molly O’Brien whose character Caitlin Tooze made her own and shone.
The boys were played by Euan Hartnell who took the role of the soldier Daniel Santry. The eldest of the children, he had tried to burn the police barracks down.
The comedy element, if indeed there was one, was added by Brandon Jaycock, who grew noticeably in confidence in his role as John Lane.
The final boy, Patrick, was played by Violet Bullen, who overcame an eye problem to put in two excellent performances.
The two prison warders Roach and Rafferty, good cop,bad cop, were taken by Ellie Price and Bethany Wood.
Finally, the role of Con Colbert, the prisoner from the 1916 uprising, who enters towards the end of the play was played by Imogen Oldfield, who as with all the others, gave a superb performance.
The dialogue between Con, Molly and Daniel providing some thought provoking moments.
The backstage crew of Lindsay, Samantha, Rebecca and Beth deserve praise for all of their efforts.
The author, Paul Sherman, contacted the group with his congratulations and is now writing a bespoke play just for them to perform.
This will hopefully be performed sometime in 2018.
Meanwhile the cast will shortly be reassembling for their next musical project to be performed early 2018.
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