PRIMARY school pupils have been recruited by a musical director to stage a theatre production which celebrates Frodsham’s 800-year anniversary.
Eighty talented pupils of Helsby Hillside, Horns Mill, Ashton Hayes, Frodsham CE, St Luke’s RC, Kingsley, Manor House and Weaver Vale primary schools have been working with Chester composer Matt Baker and writer Helen Newall to produce A View from the Hill.
The youngsters, from Year 5, were encouraged to talk to Frodsham and Helsby residents to research the history of the town.
Matt said: “We encouraged the children not just to look in books but to get out there and talk to people.
“They found out all sorts of interesting facts which have inspired the songs I have written.
The action centres around the helter-skelter which used to sit on top of Frodsham hill.
Matt added: “The helter-skelter becomes a kind of time machine as the children set off on a journey through time from as far back as the Vikings up to the present day.”
Tales include the story of the Rev William Cotton, whose ancestors are still banned from Stratford-upon- Avon after he demolished one of Shakespeare’s houses in the town.
Matt said: “The show covers all sorts from Alvanley Cricket Club to Frodsham Carnival and the Helsby Rose Fête.”
“It’s been a thrill to work with such enthusiastic children and Helen and I have been amazed at how much they have found out. They have learnt the songs so quickly.”
Rob Seabrook, headteacher of Helsby Hillside Primary School, said: “It has been a fantastic experience for the children working with two experienced professionals. They’ve gained such a lot from it.”
Matt composed the music for the 2003 and the 2008 cycle of Chester Mystery Plays and is artistic director of Theatre in the Quarter and musical director of Chester women’s choir A Handbag of Harmonies.
A View From the Hill will be presented to parents at the Brindley Centre in Runcorn on Tuesday, May 19. The public will get a chance to see the show later this year at Frodsham Festival.