Sunday, April 20, 2008

Storytelling at Majestic Theatre, Pomona

From John Halpin.

Pomona is almost unrecognisable from the town I remember from 17 years ago. There's a nice little cafe on the corner where I had some scrumptious garlic mushrooms for lunch prior to doing the storytelling at 2pm. The Majestic people (Sian Williams was the contact person) had arranged a week of activities for school kids and had publicised them all around the town. The theatre specialises in old silent movies and the owner plays the organ during the films.

For my session, the kids were charged $4 a head with parents admitted free. The kids were encouraged to dress in pirate gear for the themed stories and they entered into it with gusto. The ages ranged from one little cutie who announced quite proudly to me that she was three, to nine. The mix was about even for boys and girls. The theatre put on a couple of DVDs for best costume which I had to pick at the end. I finished up picking a brother and sister! - thank goodness they gave one back so I escaped with a whole skin.

First up, I did a revamp of Emily Rodda's "Power and Glory" which I called "Pirate Treasure" (really original, I know). The kids - and parents - got to do all the actions over and over until the end of the story. I also got to teach them how to speak 'Piratese' which meant that by the end of the 55 minutes, I had just a croak left in me!

The second story was a rework of my own original cat story which I called "That Piratical Cat". A memorable moment was listening to the oohs of disgust when they caught on to the reference to the cook preparing 'rat-a-phooey'. Incidentally, when I asked them if they knew what "ratatouille" was, they all replied that they had seen the movie! I think I missed something along the line somewhere.

The kids and parents seemed to have a ball.

I would love to host a day up here. I am sure I could interest some of my fellow Tamborine Mtn Writers Group in participating. They have produced some good material; a few readings as well as tellings would make for an enjoyable day.