There is a solo performed each Pantomime by a small child, normally from Class A. This is a real privilege for someone, and it is their ability and their behaviour during the term that leads to their selection. Please don’t be upset if your child is not chosen – they might be brilliant, but there might be someone more suitable for this rare experience.
The Summer Show, when performed as a Variety Show, provides more opportunities for individuals or small groups.
Yes is the simple answer.
In truth, if you have pink (or any colour) shoes, they may be worn, but should be replaced with black when outgrown, or when it’s Show time (whichever is first). All children (except Seniors) need BLACK footwear to appear on the stage.
No – only your allocated performances.
The cast is split in to two groups. There are 8 performances and each group appear in 4 of these shows. Once your group is allocated you will need to be available for all of the 4 performances. Some dances have partners, all have lines to say and places to be, thus it is very off putting for others on stage if a child is absent.
All new children have a “two week” trial phase. After the first two sessions, if your child is not enjoying the classes, you can receive a full refund of the term’s fees. (please see Terms and Conditions)
Payment is required in advance to enable the best planning for the term ahead. I find that when people make a commitment with money, they are more likely to see through their intentions. Those who express an interest, but are reluctant to pay in advance are normally the ones who appear on a list only, ie: they never appear on a Saturday! This is a shame for others on the Waiting List and frustrating when planning a show with large numbers. Therefore, with years of experience, it remains that the term is paid for in advance, obviously with no real idea or guarantee that your child will like it. As a parent I understand this can seem unreasonable, but it works, and naturally, if HCT does not fit the bill, there are no hard feelings and you can give up and have your money back after the trial period.
We start the Pantomime Term in September. The first couple of weeks we are essentially all getting to know each other. We then start to audition and think about casting the main parts from the Senior group. In order to give everyone a fair chance, this takes several sessions. I aim to know the cast by late October.
I try to balance the 2 groups evenly with stronger and weaker players making up a similar whole. Once I know this, I can see where any siblings from lower groups need to be placed. After this, come necessary attachments through shared runs, and finally, if there is the option, I try to keep friends together. The sooner we know the casting, the sooner we can all start preparing in earnest. But I am loathe to make a mistake on the casting, as this is VERY important for a good show, so patience is necessary.
None or very little during the term.
As much as you are able to give at performance time. Each show needs approx 10 parents to simply “open” the theatre. Most of these are Front of House, and some are backstage. With a large cast, we are lucky that most parents only have to help with 1 out of 4 shows. However, familiarity with the show is a great benefit and helping at more than 1 can be very useful for everyone backstage.
If you feel you have a skill that could be useful for staging a children’s show – please let me know as I am definitely unable to manage all aspects alone. Costumes, props, admin, chaperoning, acting, singing, photography, marketing etc…. I’m never sure which hat to put on in the morning!
There are only a limited number of places in each Class. When the class is full, it isn’t possible to take any more children. We try to keep friends together where possible, but if there is a surge of one particular age group, it may not be possible. With advance notice I try to arrange the groups to accommodate everyone, thus the average age can differ from term to term, and it might not necessarily be all one or two school year groups together. For example, this term’s Class D ranges from 9.0 years to 10.9 years and last year it was 9.2 to 10.6. This means we reached capacity and if your child fell above or below this level, they needed to be in Seniors or Class C.
Very rarely, exceptions can be made, but this is normally for children that have HCT experience and I can assess their ability to cope within a group outside their age category.
As a child I loved performing: in adulthood, less so. I love directing. I love inspiring others to perform and eek out their best. I love considering the ensemble, from costumes to characters, and all manner of presentation. I understand what it takes to create a good performance, but I prefer to be the Director.
Not often asked, but once only which was quite a surprise! Answer: please read the website, please learn a little about the history and my lifelong involvement. The classes are FUN, but yes, I do take it seriously as I am fortunate to entertain large numbers of people, work with amazing children, continue a legacy, and enjoy an un-paralled reputation.