Sadiyah Mir, Assistant Director, Civitas Schools writes:
On Thursday 22nd March, Gerald and Marian Hill of the Stationers’ Company, very generously gave twenty-one children from Stationers’ sponsored Civitas Schools the opportunity to visit the Prince Edward Theatre in London and experience Aladdin- The Musical!
From the off, the children and teachers were buzzing with excitement- a few parents had even joked that they would be attending instead of their children! While we waited for the coach and a few stragglers, who were cutting it a bit fine, the kids were beaming, almost as bright as their fluorescent safety jackets! The anticipation heightened as the children looked on from the coach, whispering and giggling, as London whirled by in the chaos that is rush hour.
Finally, we’d arrived! Thrown into crowds around the theatre, we managed to make our way to our seats and settle in with only minutes to spare. The lights dimmed and the hall went silent. The first song: music, lights and applause! The children were absolutely enthralled! Having heard them discuss the various characters on the coach journey there, they clearly knew the story, and yet each child was mesmerised. Wide eyed and mouths agape, from the first sight of Agrabah to the final spell!
The children themselves were just as entertaining to watch and listen to as the play itself! It was great to hear their gasps and giggles as the plot progressed. The audience around us laughed when the kids sighed and groaned, “Ew!” at Aladdin and Jasmine’s growing romance and when they cheered with delight as Genie gave “the schools at the back” a shout out! Their gasps of shock at sudden moments and exclaims in awe at the way the stage changed in each scene were a joy to everyone’s ears. One child was so astounded by the scenery of “A Whole New World”, he began to count the stars in amazement!
During the intermission, whilst the children were contently eating sweets given by Gerald and Marian, another child (having seen the price of the show on his ticket) asked for a pen and a napkin and spent his time, with the help of his maths teacher, using long multiplication to calculate the cost of the trip. It was a valiant attempt!
The coach ride back was a testament to their engagement; they were exhausted! As we arrived, parents eagerly asked if they’d enjoyed it, to which the children cried, “Yes!” as they rushed to join them.
The parents, teachers and I are extremely grateful to Gerald and Marian for giving the children such an opportunity! The next few English lessons will be centred around their experience of the play and the theatre.
The photo shows some of the lovely thank you letters written by the children who went on this wonderful trip.