Rehearsals for a Chester youth theatre's forthcoming musical production took on an international flavour as the students welcomed a large number of Italians to the session.
Theatre in the Quarter's Jigsaw group is in preparation for a new outdoor adaptation of The Emperor's New Clothes and the group was thrilled to share their new material with the enthusiastic Italians for an evening.
The session began with a fun-filled singing workshop led by artistic director Matt Baker, which included songs in both Italian and English, and then the students took on the challenge of taking part in their English peers' rehearsals of scenes for the play.
Students from the Lake Maggiore region of northern Italy are in Chester as part of the city's Deva English Ltd school’s English Friends programme.
The school was delighted that they could offer their Italian students the experience of taking part in a theatre workshop.
Jigsaw leader Millie Stevenson said: “We were all very impressed with the way in which the students picked up the songs and the choreography, as if language was no barrier.”
The Emperor's New Clothes is written by the company of young performers with new music by Erin Elston.
Directed by Will Wood, Millie Stevenson and several young associate directors, the 30 minute piece will be performed in Chester city centre and as part of the forthcoming Garden Quarter Festival in July.
It follows the overwhelming success of their recent sell-out production of The Firebird in March this year.
The director of Deva English Ltd, Susan Jones, said: “Within two minutes of arriving Jigsaw staff and children had the Italians joining in with the fun. It was an exciting, rewarding experience which they will take back to Italy. They didn't want to leave.”
Susan is hoping to build on the success of the relationship between Theatre in the Quarter and the international students.
In July, a group of German and Italian students will be working with Theatre in the Quarter in making props for their forthcoming large scale production Over By Christmas which will tour railway stations in September.
Artistic director Matt Baker works internationally with young people as a composer and musical director.
He concluded: “It is so wonderful to generate such an international flavour within our work - right here on our own doorstep.”