A Carousel of Causley

Obby Oss by Jonathan Habens

On a cold, wet Monday in January, Hall for Cornwall was alive with drama performances by secondary students inspired by one of Cornwall’s finest poets, Charles Causley.

Causley loved poetry and also the theatre. A Carousel of Causley married these two passions in a festive day celebrating his poetry through drama and music. Students from 15 secondary schools across Cornwall each created a theatrical moment from poems such as Timothy Winters, Francesco de la Vega, What has Happened to Lulu, The Ballad of the Breadman and Mevagissey as well as an extract from his play, commissioned by Kneehigh, The Tinderbox.

2013 marks the tenth anniversary of Causley’s death which makes it an important moment to ensure that his work is enjoyed by a new generation of young readers and writers and to spark their imagination. Causley was among the most important poets of his generation and lived for most of his life in Launceston where he worked as a teacher.

Each school and Cornwall Youth Theatre has taken a poem and found a way to illuminate it to share with audiences. KEAP’s producer, Dave Hunter said, “As to be expected, Cornish schools have excelled in the ingenuity and wide range of theatrical approaches to Causley’s poems”. We are also very grateful to local musician Rick Williams who created a beautiful song from Causley’s ‘Tell me, tell me Sarah Jane’ which was performed to great applause by the girls choir from Treviglas.

This is the fourth year of the Secondary Drama Showcase and this year was co-produced by Kernow Education Arts Partnership and the Hall for Cornwall “It is such an exciting event. I am always delighted by the inventiveness and energy of the productions and would recommend it to any one.” Amanda
Harris, Director KEAP.

Images by Sean Hurlock

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