Last week local New Forest theatre company Forest Forge came to perform their latest winter creation Midnight is a Place to the L4 pupils (together with Junior School pupils in Years 1-4)in Harvey Hall. Midnight is a Place by Joan Aiken is a children's book within the Wolves Chronicles and is as witty, dark and beautiful as the more famous story The Wolves of Willoughby Chase.
The audience thoroughly enjoyed the performance and then questioned the actors about how they started in theatre, their parts in the play and different aspects of the story.
The company’s educational workshop leader is returning to St Swithun’s in early February to run storytelling workshops for the L4 to help inspire their work for this term.
Here are some of the L4's own thoughts about the production
Ellie Ower writes:
‘Midnight Is A Place’ is a play by a small travelling theatre company called Forest Forge Theatre Company. It is about a boy and a girl on the run after their house burns down. They have to work in different places like a factory and the sewer. Along the way they learn about their family’s history and what should rightfully be theirs.
Emily Coulson comments on seeing the play in The Harvey Hall by writing:
We were sitting very close to the action, this – added to the participation – made us feel as if we were there, experiencing their thoughts and feelings.
Harriet Smailes says:
I found the narration of the play very effective because of the variety. They sang, narrated in and out of character and used props. Their repetition of the key song ‘Midnight is a Place’ was used to highlight important points in the play.
Abigail Dennison writes about the set:
I liked the use of area and how they managed to make their stage adapt to the different scenes. I thought the gap beneath the stage was particularly ingenious because the cast could crawl to the back and get ready for the next scene without us knowing. The lighting was also excellent and I found it clever how they could change the light in the ‘windows’ to fit the different scenes and how they shone videos onto the screen at the back.
Charlotte Collings tells us about the actors:
The acting in the production was so detailed, clever and accurate. At every point in the play you knew exactly what was happening, where it was happening and why it was happening. All four actors played more than one role throughout the whole thing. Andrew Weaton played lots of characters like the butler, for example, and was amazing at changing his body language, personality and attitude for that character. He played a nasty man called Bludward and used his acting skills so well that I got quite scared of him!
Phoebe Sugden writes about her favourite scene:
I really liked the way that they used different props to create things, such as when they were explaining what happened with the bet. I felt that this was very imaginative and showed the story in a different way, as they used a violin for the boat and a scarf for the sea. This was particularly effective as this is how you would explain something informally, using the objects around.
Jemima Cremin adds:
I enjoyed watching how they did the man-hole scene using the flat stage rather than one actor actually going into the hole. It was very creative how one person stood at one side of the stage looking down and talking to the floor, and the other actor stood at the other side, looking up and talking to the ceiling.
Olivia Fuad concludes:
I really enjoyed ‘Midnight is a Place’ because the story was very imaginative and was performed in an incredibly inventive way. It left me eager to see more plays by the Forest Forge players.
Find out more about Forest Forge Theatre here