Friday, 7 June 2013

Laika in Lambeth

Pupils rehearsing for Laika in Lambeth. Production by Reay Primary School and English Touring Opera, music by Russell Hepplewhite, design by Catherine Ryan, original Laika puppet design by Jude Munden. Photo by Sarah Botchway
Pupils rehearsing for Laika in Lambeth.
Production by Reay Primary School and English Touring Opera,
music by Russell Hepplewhite, design by Catherine Ryan,
original Laika puppet design by Jude Munden.
Photo by Sarah Botchway
In January I went to see Laika the Spacedog, English Touring Opera's opera for young people which debuted at the Science Museum (see my review). Now ETO is collaborating with pupils from Lambeth schools on the opera's sequel, Laika in Lambeth. The new piece follows Laika's adventures when she returns to Earth (having been the first dog in space) and lands in Lambeth! Pupils at Reay Primary School have been working with ETO on the piece, which premieres in the Grand Hall at Battersea Arts Centre on Tuesday 11 June. The production will be performed by 175 children with children from St Stephen's, Wyvil and Vauxhall Primary Schools being involved along with the pupils from Reay Primary School.

Music is again by Russell Hepplewhite and Laika herself is played by the puppets, made by Jude Munden, from ETO's production of Laika the Spacedog. The whole of Reay Primary School has been involved in creating and producing Laika in Lambeth. Sarah Botchway, producer of Laika in Lambeth and Principal at Reay Primary School, commented that 'The children are really engaged in the workshops composing the music as well as designing and constructing the set'.  Reay Primary School has a history of working with professional arts organisations, in 2011 they worked with the National Theatre to perform an original nativity play. The school is at the Oval, Lambeth and is ethnically diverse with 75% of students from minority ethnic groups and 50% of students speaking English as an additional language

Laika in Lambeth is being performed on Tuesday 11 June 2013 at the Grand Hall, Battersea Arts Centre, at 2pm for groups of school children and teachers, at 7pm for parents and the general public..

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