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Drama and Performing Arts students take children on a journey into the world of books

University of Gloucestershire students wrote and performed a play full of magical characters that captured the hearts and ignited the imagination of primary school children in Cheltenham.

Nine students working towards a degree in Drama and Performing Arts took centre stage in a thought-provoking theatre production about living in the world of books for Year 3, 4 and 5 pupils at Springbank Primary Academy.

The students devised, wrote and performed the play – featuring colourful storybook characters such as Grog the Giant, Princess Peg and Winona Witch Willow – for the Performing Arts in Education module of the Drama and Performing Arts degree programme delivered by the University’s School of Arts.

Module tutor Karen Benjamin, Senior Lecturer in Drama, Performing Arts and Play, said: “Theatre is a powerful way to engage children in relevant themes and storylines as they can emotionally identify with a character and follow them on their journey learning with them as they encounter obstacles they need to overcome on the way.”

Springbank Primary Academy said: “The children loved the play all about living in the world of stories and were talking for days about what their own story would be.

“Reading is a huge priority for us here and this play helped to portray the message to the children that we don’t all enjoy the same books and need to find our own story to love.

“The students were enthusiastic and engaging and the children and staff at Springbank had a great time.”

Cast: narrator/mother – Angela Osman; Willow – Clara Seleskovitch; Sage – Deni Powell; Grog the Giant – Harvey Carter; Gussie Pig – Anna-Rose Darmon; Princess Peggy – Caitlin Grant; Eschewal – Lex Trengove; Bookworm – Vicki Ruth; Winona Witch – Jem Speller.