Four by Four
Devised by the Outreach Youth Theatres. Directed by Lyndi Smith.
The Belgrade Community & Education Company presented the Outreach Youth Theatre’s new production Four by Four from 25 to 28 April 2007.
The production consisted of four different pieces devised and performed by four different groups of young people aged 8 – 16. Coming from four different areas of Coventry, the young people spent four months devising and rehearsing the shows Alkie (Hillfields), Boffin (Eagle Street), No Chance (Jardine Crescent) and My Street (Westwood), which were performed before an audience in a sketch-show sharing of their work.
The themes of Four by Four were alcohol, car crashes, child geniuses and neighbourhoods. Following initial group discussions around these topics, their ideas were developed by director Lyndi Smith into exercises using a range of technical styles which suited the group, In Alkie, for example, it seemed appropriate to explore the idea of getting ready for a night out as a movement piece.
Director Lyndi Smith explained the process of creating the show:
“Often ideas develop through discussion into scenarios with characters and then the young people work in smaller groups and improvise (acting without a script).From their improvisations, the most successful ingredients are recorded and then groups repeat and refine what they have been doing. This is eventually developed into a script, with additional links or sections of dialogue added to make it work in relation to other scenes developed in a similar way.
“Making theatre is different from making film and can be very exciting. And you never know quite what to expect when the live performance begins. Things change, lines are forgotten and you’ve got to give an audience an entertaining time. It’s a buzz.”
Four by Four was performed in the AUEW Building, next to the Belgrade Theatre on Corporation Street.
Artistic and Technical Team:
Devised by the Outreach Youth Theatre
Director – Lyndi Smith
Designer – Anna Lewis
Director of Production – John Miller
Lighting – Dave Muir
Stage Manager – Elizah Jackson
Sound Operators – Ashleigh and Hayley Dickinson
Carpenters – Dave Hughes
Head Scenic Artist – Alexina Smalley
Original Programme Design – Barry Jobson
The Community & Education Company:
Associate Director – Community & Education – Justine Themen
Acting General Manager – Community & Education – Martin Kelly
Youth Theatre Co-ordinator / Administrator – Lori Ford
Senior Drama Worker – Acting Out – Tom Bailey
Outreach Youth Theatre Co-ordinator – Lyndi Smith
Drama Worker – Kathryn Johnson
Support Workers – Elizah Jackson, Richard Boland and Sunny Patel-Jones