Theatre in the Quarter's young people's company has always had original music at its heart, but under the musical direction of Erin Elston, it seems there is no limit to the musical creativity of the young members.
In preparation for their own unique musical adaptation of The Firebird, composer and musical director Erin Elston has encouraged the children of Jigsaw to add their own unique musical flair to the work.
She said: “I have been thrilled not only by how many children have brought instruments to use in the production, but how many musical ideas they have each had which have contributed to the musical score.”
Jigsaw Theatre group have been busy working alongside writer Will Wood, director Millie Stevenson and a group of assistant directors in devising scenes, writing lyrics and dialogue and even making props for their latest production which is to be staged in the theatre at Bishops' High School at the beginning of March.
Director Millie Stevenson explained that Jigsaw's version of The Firebird may be a far cry from Stravinsky's.
She said: “We start with a shape for the work, and explore the themes and ideas through workshops. However, the creativity of the young performers really takes us off on many tangents and so we never quite know how the piece will end up.”
She added that it was always a thrill to work in this way and with new music.
“It is what attracted to me to Jigsaw in the first place; this company really provides a wonderful environment for the young people to be creative, whether that is through words or music, dance or design. They even have an input into poster design and lighting plots.”
She did, however, add that it can sometimes put pressure on time.
“There has to be that time when the creativity has to give way to rehearsal, but with this group, and especially with the musicians, there are still new rhythms and melodies being created just weeks before the performance!”
Musical director Erin Elston was impressed with the variety of musicians the audience can expect at the performance.
“Expect to hear flutes, saxophones, guitars, trumpets, clarinets, violins, cahon drums and of course plenty of the usual Jigsaw singing.”
Jigsaw Music Theatre will present its own adaptation of The Firebird on March 4 and 5 at 7.30pm at Bishops' High School in Chester. Tickets will be available at the door.
Anyone aged 7-13 years who is interested in joining Jigsaw after this production can contact Theatre in the Quarter's company manager Julie Elston on Julieelston09@aol.com.