11:00am Friday 9th March 2012
By Ruth Meech
FLEDGLING acting stars from Dorchester are set to play with your minds next week in their latest production.
The 30-strong senior section of the county town’s Youth Theatre are performing School Journey To The Centre Of The Earth, a beguiling tale focusing on the power of the imagination.
Join nine-year-old Tricia and her classmates as they leave school and set off on a day trip to Alton Towers theme park.
All is running smoothly until Trisha, played by Alice Dodd, suggests to her friends that their teachers are actually terrorists kidnapping them.
At this point, all hell breaks loose – is their teacher kidnapping them as part of a worldwide conspiracy?
Are they going to have to face The Doctor?
Is Tricia really a schoolgirl spy?
Or are they simply on a day trip to Alton Towers?
More to the point – will audiences ever discover the truth?
Play director Jo Simons said: “By the end of the play the audience doesn’t really know what’s what.
“It’s quite a brain-teaser.”
The play was written by Daisy Campbell and her father Ken and is an ensemble piece, meaning everyone has an important part to play.
As well as Alice, other cast members include Arron and Fingal Green as Rob and Sonny, Emily Wilkinson as Anna and Alex Albon as James.
Jo explained: “The play is definitely an ensemble piece and everyone has an important part, even if they have no lines, because without their reaction the play would simply die.
“The biggest challenge for the kids, who are aged 12 to 18, is playing the part of nine-year-olds because it’s a really hard thing to do. They think they are acting like young children but they aren’t.
“My son is eight and I wish they could see him because he’s completely without inhibitions and just ‘is’.
“But by the time you get to your teens you have lost that and are all too aware of how you look and what people think and how you have to be cool.
“But I did manage to get them acting like younger children one Sunday rehearsal when I took in some Lego and got them all to make something.
“They all lost their inhibitions and just got on with it – it was great. It really sparked their imagination and reminded them how to play, which is an art I think you lose as you get older.”
l School Journey To The Centre Of The Earth is at Dorchester Corn Exchange in High West Street on March 16 and 17 at 7.30pm. Tickets are £5 from Dorchester Arts centre on 01305 266926 and on the door on the night.
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