– Acting classes for children – spaces currently available
– Try before you buy! Contact Slow Theatre to book a FREE try-out session.
– The groups run on Saturdays during the school term
– 10.15am–11.15am Under 8s (£44/£40 concessions)
– 11am–12.30pm 8–12 & 13+ youth group (£52/£44 concessions)
– If you contact Slow Theatre Company, please mention you saw them on Wymondham Stuff.
About Slow Theatre Company
“We are a very small, family-run independent theatre company. We run drama classes for children who want to learn theatre skills. We love singing and dancing, and we love musical theatre, but we don’t do that. We also don’t push children to stardom, all this talk about X Factor fast lane, I just find it a bit disappointing. What we do is have fun – with the script, the storytelling, the characters. For the children and parents who want the other, we’re not going to be the right company for them.”
We’re one question in, and Danny O’Hara – Director of The Slow Theatre Company who run Saturday morning classes at Wymondam High School’s drama theatre for the under 8s right through to late teens – is already sounding like a breath of fresh air.
With a lifelong involvement in theatre, from working with refugees fleeing violence in Kosovo to performing at the Edinburgh Fringe, Slow came about after Danny was hired by Wymondham High as Youth Theatre Director to take a group to The National Theatre’s Connexions Festival, a youth theatre festival that runs in London each year.
“It was so fantastic,” she says. “We had such an enormously amazing group that when my contract came to end I thought I don’t want this to come to an end, so I set up The Slow Theatre Company.”
While her aim was to maintain a youth theatre presence in Wymondham, she soon found herself increasingly being approached by parents of younger and younger children.
“To be honest, children’s classes weren’t on my radar,” she admits, “but I discovered that I really enjoy hanging out with them and doing drama. With the little ones it’s beyond hilarious, it’s crazy the imaginations five and six year olds have.”
So what is about acting that she loves so much?
“I’d love to say I have a mature answer to that,” she says. “When you walk onto a stage, the world becomes amazing, full of possibilities. When I was a kid and stood on a stage I thought ‘Wow, this is amazing’ and that’s why I wanted to do it. I think a lot of kids feel that too, and that’s where Slow Theatre comes in.”
You’re already thinking where do I sign up aren’t you?
“The children can expect to have lots of fun,” she begins. “People tend to think drama is all about acting, but actually it’s all about communicating and who we are on a daily basis. When I was little, you just never got to perform in front of other people and the people who did were always the same little clique. If you ask the children do they want an audience, they will always say yes. In Slow, they perform to each other every week.”
Over the last two years, they have also undertaken six audience pieces, putting on shows at the town’s Christmas Fair, Norwich’s Sewell Barn Theatre and The Forum, The Barford Festival, Wymondham Library…
“Normally a drama company will do one or two performances in the same time,” Says Danny. “It’s a lot of pressure, but the kids just love performing in front of an audience.”
Of course, drama isn’t just about being on a stage.
“I cannot underestimate the importance of having fun on a Saturday morning,” she says. “They’ve been in school all week, so it’s all about blowing off stream and having fun and going home feeling happy and exhilarated. I think that’s a great thing.”