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Dunoon library is about 15 years old – a purpose-built cheerful and cosy bungalow. Three schools performed for us here. First of all some special needs children from Dunoon Primary did The Gruffalo’s Child with an inflatable tent as the Gruffalo cave and some lovely home-made costumes for the two Gruffalos, the mouse and the predators. The individual actors had all learnt their lines well, and the rest of the small class joined in with gusto for the repeated passages. They were followed by Kirn Primary children doing a song they’d written based on Loon on the Moon, while they held out planets and a cardboard Loonmobile and did lots of actions. Last came Innellan Primary with Francie and the Birthday Party about a grumpy child. After so many animal plays it was nice to watch something about people! The children all wore rigid crown-like party hats, which looked simple and striking.
We acted Room on the Broom with these children (enrolling a cat, frog and bird from the audience), and also did two songs, “Handy” and “Splash and Squelch”. I had to laugh during the questions session when one little girl’s question was “Why did the skeleton cross the road?” Unfortunately I never got to hear the punch line because the teacher told her to ask a “proper question” instead!
At Helensburgh Library in the afternoon we were treated to three more performances. Rosneath Primary did Handa’s Surprise, with a group of musicians starting and ending the story tapping out rhythms on drums and blocks. Handa and the narrator had good clear voices, and the other children mimed the animals helping themselves to fruit from Handa’s basket while she wandered around acting unaware.
Then the Dramarama club from Hermitage Primary School performed Zog. This was really outstanding - very polished, expressive and well-projected, with lots of delightful extra touches such as a rumbling tummy song and the line “Neigh chance!” from the horse. There was plenty of action, with the class of dragons flying, roaring and fighting, and – perhaps most impressive of all – a girl musician, hidden behind a screen in her own “orchestra pit” did sound effects on xylophone and various other instruments (including two coconut halves for the horse’s hooves). The play ended with a dramatic cymbal crash.
Cardross Primary obviously enjoyed acting Aliens Love Underpants. The aliens, waggling their antennae, brandished model hand-held space-ships and proceeded to have fun with the pants on the washing line, which ended up on their heads! We all loved their funny little squealing sounds and bouncy dance.
The children helped us make up verses for our “Under the Water” song, and then acted various animals in our performance of Freddie and the Fairy, in which Beth and Mike from Scottish Book Trust made their debuts as Fairy Queen and Gorilla. We finished off with Malcolm’s favourite song, “Use Your Arms”.
Start of week two! And a good start it is too. Dunoon Library had a nice children’s section, right at the front of the library. A place of prominence. At Helensburgh Library there were reports of a Glee-style Zog the Dragon, tiny aliens wearing knickers on their heads, and a wild gorilla terrifying all present. Beth likes the dramatic landscape of the Cowel peninsula – she’s thinking of a getting a nice wee cottage by the shores of Loch Eck.
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