If you’re reading this, you probably have an early memory of going to the theatre, or perhaps taking your child to see a show. Getting children to engage in culture like seeing plays or musicals from a young age seems important, but why?
Research published last month by Encore Tickets, with Birkbeck University, crunched the numbers, and found that experiencing theatre improved social tolerance, led to better academic performance, and kickstarted positive social change. Click here to read more.
But what about child performers? Currently, in the West End, there are three major shows with large child casts: Adrian Mole just opened in the West End, just around the corner from the Cambridge Theatre, where Matildaand Ms Trunchbull’s class have been revolting since 2011.
The effect children can have on a West End show is much louder over at the Gillian Lynne Theatre, where the Dewey Finn’s class take to the stage night after night to rock out, playing their instruments live, in School of Rock.
We spoke to adult cast members Alex Tomkins and Claudia Kariuki about their formative experiences with theatre, why experiencing it from a young age is crucial, and how the kid cast in School of Rock inspires them.