Tuesday, January 21, 2014

From Zero to Hero by the EITC

My life can become a little stuck in a routine with my days filled with motherly chores, wifely duties, animal care and the various things I volunteer to help with. However, every now and then something completely different pops up quite unexpectedly. Last Thursday was one of those days. I was invited by Ed’s school to accompany some of the children to a theatre performance in English. Yes, French kids, in France, watching a performance in English (by an Irish travelling theatre group) - intrigued? Me too!

'From Zero to Hero' was an action-packed hour of theatre fun, with traditional comic-book capers of super-heroes, sidekicks and villains but with added social media references, first date awkwardness and live music too. I’m sure most of the kids wouldn’t have understood everything that was said, but the animated performance kept their attention and they were at least sat quietly for over an hour listening to English being spoken. I organise a weekly lunchtime English conversation club at the school (which is why I was invited to this little theatre treat) and getting them to be quiet, listen and be brave enough to talk in English are the biggest challenges. 

The EITC
Team Kickass
I spoke to the cast after the show, as I was interested to know how an Irish theatre company came to be performing in English to French children in a small, relatively unknown French town. The idea is brilliant, the French director spent quite a bit of time in Ireland touring in schools and performing in French, so he thought it would be a good idea to tour France with an English cast, bringing the English language to life. This year they have three teams performing two shows and have been on the road in France since October, performing five days a week, in different schools and will do so for seven months. More information on this great initiative can be found on the EITC website and do take a look at their Facebook page too (photos from the EITC Facebook page).

The cast really put a lot into the performance, from setting up, to a pre-performance rehearsal with the children from the school who had volunteered for small speaking parts in the show, followed by an energetic performance and packing it all up afterwards. Making learning a foreign language fun and lively is the way to go and I really wish we could have had something like this when I was at school. Chapeau team Kickass and thanks for a really fun Thursday morning.

Wherever you are in the world, have you or your children benefited from something similar?