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Friday, 07 March 2014
The children at Beech House were treated to a very special performance this morning. The one-man show ‘Who’s Been Sitting In My Chair?’ is a re-telling of ‘Goldilocks and the Three Bears’ – with a few twists!
Goldilocks, played by a wooden doll, was the first to be introduced. She mischievously hid from the audience and played hide-and-seek with the story-teller, much to the amusement of the Beech House pupils. Once found, she wanted to start her story straight away. However, she had to wait for spring, and for the bears to come out of hibernation.
In the meantime, the performance stepped into each of the bears’ dreams in turn, to the delight and amusement of the children. Daddy Bear dreamed of being a great chef and sang, “I love porridge, and porridge loves me!” Meanwhile, Mummy Bear was dreaming her own life story: how she was captured and became part of a circus as ‘the amazing unicycling bear’. The children gasped as a miniature version of Mummy Bear sailed along the tightrope on her unicycle! Small Bear dreamed of birthdays, cake, and especially presents. There were lots of giggles as the story-teller unwrapped Small Bear’s present – only to find a series of smaller boxes inside, until he eventually produced a robin's egg.
Finally, spring came along and – with cries of “Magic!” from the watching pupils – the leaves on Daddy Bear’s oak chair changed to green, new growth appeared on the trees, and the bears woke up!
Small Bear was the first to wake, arriving on stage as a teddy bear to the tune of ‘Teddy Bear’s Picnic’. The tale then progressed as usual, with the bears preparing their porridge then going for a walk to allow it to cool, and Goldilocks finding the door open – and completely ignoring the children’s vocal warnings not to go in! There were gasps from the audience as she gobbled down Small Bear’s porridge, broke his chair, and then dashed upstairs to sleep in his bed.
However, the bears did not return as expected, because Small Bear had got lost in the forest. Of course, the story-teller then had to go and find him. He told the children, “We’re going on a bear hunt.” This section, loosely based on the book of the same name by Michael Rosen and Helen Oxenbury, was really familiar to the children and their voices chimed in to end some of the lines! Of course, they did eventually find Small Bear in the forest and ended the tale with a happily ever after.
‘Who’s Been Sitting In My Chair?’ was performed by Simon Hatfield, who is a founding member of Freehand Theatre. They have many years of experience performing in front of young children, and use each performance to inspire creative thinking, imaginative writing and artwork, and to introduce children to the wonderful world of live theatre.
They certainly succeeded at Beech House, as the pupils thoroughly enjoyed the whole performance and were enchanted throughout!
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