Big School - Promise
Written by Chris Cooper and Directed by Justine Themen
Promise was a Belgrade Theatre in Education production, supporting young people in Year 6 in their transition from Primary to Secondary school.
The play follows the story of Grace from her last day at Primary school, when she returned home doused in flour with her school shirt covered with her friends’ signatures, to her first day at Secondary school, dressed smartly in a blazer and ready to face the new challenges ahead. As a child, her favourite story was Hansel and Gretel, but it is a story which she hasn’t read for a while. During the long Summer holidays, Grace returns to the story, summoning once more her imaginary friend Hansel to help her find her way through the forest in front of her.
Promise is an exceptional story because it does not tell children what to expect when they reach Secondary school, but reminds them of all the other changes and challenges they have encountered and dealt with, and encourages them to use the skills they have developed in these situations in the new challenges they will encounter in their lives. For Grace, these include falling out with her best friend Katie on the last day of term, and managing the separation of her parents.
Promise was first performed to schools in Coventry in June 2008.