Long thought to be extinct, hope remains for dragons. The Last Dragon is alive and kicking. The seventh Kids Aloud project, which is enabling children from 12 local primary schools to help create the show which they will then perform in the Royal Hall in April, is on track and developing well according to its director, Guy Wilson.
The story, written by Guy, which forms the basis of the show’s script, has just been published. It is illustrated with 19 of the best pictures painted by pupils in the participating schools as part of the associated art competition. Last week the competition’s winner, Nadia Wieclaw, visited Imagined Things bookshop in Harrogate to receive her prize (a £30 book token) and to see the books go on display and sale. They are now available for sale at £6 at Imagined Things in Harrogate and The Little Ripon Bookshop in Ripon. All proceeds go to support the concerts.
Meanwhile the project’s composer, Roland Fudge, is finalising the arrangement and orchestration of the songs that the children have written to help tell the story. Earlier this year Roland and Guy ran twelve workshos in the schools to help the children write the words and compose the music for the songs. They were both amazed at the enthusiasm and creative ability of the youngsters aged from 7 to 11.
They were incredibly inventive and utterly fearless, prepared to try things we would not have dared to do.
It was an exciting and humbling experience working with them. The audiences at the shows are in for a big surprise at the quality of the music the children have created with the help of a very talented composer.
The shows take place on 1 and 2 April, starting at 6.30. Tickets go on sale after Christmas at the Harrogate Theatre Box Office (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Kids Aloud is intended to give local children the opportunity to create and perform and through the experience of involvement in a successful production to develop their confidence and thus their creativity. For this to succeed after all the wonderful but hard work they will have put in by April the Royal Hall needs to be full. So do, please, come and support them. You will find yourself transported to a magical land and a country subjected to ten years of misrule. Then two orphan children meet and befriend a dragon. Between them they right past wrongs and find out who they really are. And for those of you who thought you knew about dragons, well there may be a surprise or two.
About 400 children will perform in the concerts and others have been involved in the art competition and workshops. They come from the following schools : All Saints Church of England Primary, Kirby Overblow; Aspin Park Community Primary School, Knaresborough; Bilton Grange Primary School; Grove Road Community Primary School; North Rigton Church of England Primary School; Pannal Primary School; Richard Taylor Church of England Primary School; Rossett Acre Primary School; St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School; St Robert’s Catholic Primary School; Sharow Church of England Primary School; Skelton Newby Hall Church of England Primary School
Kids Aloud is an initiative of Harrogate Brigantes Rotary. President Les Ellington comments:
The Last Dragon is a first in a number of ways. This will be the first time that the work that the young performers have created will fill the whole evening, and I know that what the children have created will be very special indeed. And it’s also the first time that we’ve received a grant from Youth Music who are supporting us using public funding from the National Lottery through Arts Council England – national recognition of the importance of what we do.
And it’s also the first time we’ve been supported by a London Livery Company – the Worshipful Company of Armourers and Brasiers – whose Gauntlet Trust has made possible the publication of the book. We are most grateful to them and all our local supporters who are making this project possible and allowing us all to experience the amazing creativity of some of our local youngsters.
Those local supporters include Bartlett Group Insurance, Envirovent Ventilation, Harrogate Spring Water, Rudding Park Estate Ltd and Smiths of Harrogate. There are, though, still opportunities for sponsorship and advertising and anyone interested should contact Mike Hammond (MikeHBRC@hotmail.co.uk).
It’s a show to warm the cockles of hearts with post-Christmas blues.
So if you’re worried about the future why not book for The Last Dragon. I’m sure you’ll leave the Royal Hall feeling that, perhaps after all, the world will be in safe and very capable hands. After the ravages of Covid the children have really enjoyed working together on this project. They have created some wonderful songs. Let’s give them the support and encouragement that their creativity deserves. Let’s fill the Royal Hall with people and applause.