The Junior Wriggle Valley Players
Yetminster’s Drama club for children!
Have fun, make new friends, play games, write scripts, learn the act of performance, learn to dance and sing
ACT 1 THE FIRST SIX YEARS
Twelve years ago we noticed that although we had a fantastic adult amateur dramatic group in this area there was nothing for children. So it was decided to get some children together to set up their own group
- The Junior Wriggle Valley Players was born.We started off just doing a production, “Noah’s Ark” which we performed at Yetminster Church Hall. This proved very popular and the group grew to 40 children aged between 5 and 14years.
- The next year we covered two productions “The Emperor’s New Clothes” which was performed at St Andrew’s School Yetminster and donated the money from the sale of refreshments to the PTA, and a nativity at St Andrew’s Church.
Still our numbers grew…
So having discussed what we would do in 2002 we decided to run throughout the year, meeting on a fortnightly basis. A timetable was drawn up covering from January to December; this included two Artreach workshops by professional groups, a BBQ at the end of the summer term, a pantomime for November (The Fwog Pwince), and a Nativity for December at St Andrew’s Church.
In February we were contacted by the people organising the Golden Jubilee celebrations – Could we perform at the street party? We rose to the challenge looking at different scripts but found nothing suitable. So a member of the group decided to write a play, including two songs and two dances. On June 4th this was performed and proved very successful.
The success of the group is due to the enthusiasm of the children. Our aim is to give the children confidence to speak in public, to have fun and an understanding of each other.
We encourage each child to take part to whatever ability in music, singing, dancing and acting, and also in directing and producing and writing.
After a very successful year in 2002 we have decided to again run throughout 2003. Another ambitious timetable was planned, still meeting on a fortnightly basis and to improve funding we invoiced members termly and charging £1 per session.
Our main productions for 2003 were “Alice The Musical” which had eighteen brilliant songs and a witty script, which we performed in June, followed by a church performance of a Christmas Play “Stable Manners” in December. Both shows allowed us to make donations of £50 to the Leigh Brownies and £50 for the Yetminster Scout Group and also a £75 donation towards St Andrew’s Church, Yetminster.
In 2004 we decided to change our meetings to weekly on Tuesday evenings at Yetminster Scout Hut and our main production was yet another witty musical “Hoodwinked” about Robin Hood which was performed in June.
Two donations of £75 were made to Leigh Brownie towards their camp and Yetminster Scout Group. After all the hard work the children came to a free BBQ where they were all rewarded with medals. This was followed by a Christmas show at Chetnole Church where the parents were able to get together for mince pies and mulled wine and the children received a gift each.
In 2005 we performed a very ambitious play “Moving on” which went well and in our Christmas nativity we raised £60 for Biblelands, a Christian charity
In spring 2006 we made a decision to sponsor a village in Kotada, which is in India. The children wrote to the children and collected toys, which were transported by Clippers Teas. The village required a new community hall to hold events like marriages. We had decided on performing Cinderella with the profits going to the village’s fund and were able to send a cheque for £250.
Not only did we do a full production in this year but we also managed to do a “Mother’s Day Show” to entertain the parents and get them involved in our drama games and also had an Indian Night where an employee from Clippers gave us all a talk about Kotada and an end of term BBQ where the children received medals. This year we have also introduced two cups to the proceedings – one for the juniors and one for the seniors for best improved for the year.
At Christmas we decided that the children could write their own plays so we split the group into four and gave them a Christmas song each to sing and then they wrote a play around the title of their song. This was performed in front of family and friends in December and was followed by a Christmas tea and the children all received a present from the group.
ACT 2 THE SECOND SIX YEARS!
2007 was very exciting with a chilly (we performed in a barn in March!) performance of Peace Child, which raised £250 for Julia’s House. We also spent three weeks filming our version of a battle between pirates and the Navy – just off the coast of Yetminster, which we made into a short film with the aid of some “A” level students at the Gryphon.
For our winter show we performed The Snow Queen at Thornford Village Hall raising £500 for SHIPS, which provides support for children with acquired brain injuries in schools.
In 2008 we took on a younger group of children and lost many of our year six children who were starting secondary school. Having discussed the options of a summer show we decided to do two Roald Dahl stories both set to music – so Snow White and Jack and the Beanstalk at Leigh Village Hall in June. Proceeds from this went to Yetminster Scout Group and Leigh Brownies. In the autumn we worked on Remembrance Day with the older children writing plays on joining the war and being evacuees and acting out a play based in Manchester during the war. This was followed our Christmas Sketch Show which parents and families were invited to watch followed by a guest appearance from Father Christmas and mulled wine and supper.
In 2009 we put on a magnificent show of Wind in the Willows followed by a Christmas sketch show for families of the children in the group including a visit from Father Christmas.
In 2010 we are performed our Summer Show “Skool and Crossbones”. We also were invited to perform at the Sherborne celebration of the Railway coming to Sherborne on 8th May 2010 at Pageant Gardens. We have chosen to do a shortened version of The Railway Children.
At this stage we decided to change our group slightly. We wanted to include teenagers who were not getting the chance to perform elsewhere. It was decided to continue with the Junior Wriggle Valley Players meeting weekly and to add another group for the teenagers on a Sunday evening. We also plan to include teenagers in our group for a rock musical version of Romeo and Juliet at Leigh Village Hall in December 2010
What a success! With support from Popeye and The Pixies a local rock band a modern version of a Shakespeare classic hit the stage.
In 2011, due to the previous success of running the two groups together, we chose Cider with Rosie, which went down a storm supported by local musicians. The profits from this show was split between Yetminster Scouts, Leigh Brownies and sponsor of a student going to work in an orphanage in India.
For those sharp eyed of you who attended the adult section’s very successful pantomime of “Red Riding Hood “ you may have spotted quite a few of the old “Juniors” in the cast, including Amy Goodfellow who was a marvellous lead as granddaughter of Red Riding Hood.
In 2012 The Junior Wriggle Valley Players performed Cinderella and Rockerfella a fantastic fun musical with all the drama of a proper pantomime. This enabled us to support Yetminster Scouts to raise money to help refurbish the Scout Hut – our home during most of the year.
In 2013, with now KS3, KS2 and KS1 children we performed at the Crib service on Christmas Eve in Sherborne Abbey with a congregation of 1000 people. We entertained our families to our Christmas show followed by Christmas tea with a visit from Father Christmas and finally we performed Alice the Musical. This musical is a tricky KS3 show and the children rose to the challenges of taking on multiple characters and performed a brilliant two nights
So during a very wet February in 2014, our numbers standing at 20 we performed the beautiful production of The Snow Queen raising money to help towards a new sound system at Leigh Village hall and also collecting £156 on the door to support Somerset Flood victims, who were particularly affected this year with extreme flooding.
2014 will also see the Junior Wriggle valley players performing at Yetminster School Fair and then performing Aladdin during October half term.
So what what’s next? Well… the Junior Group goes from strength to strength while remaining true to its core values of giving the children confidence and a chance to perform. We try to perform two shows a year and on top of that we have our own award ceremony, perform to parents and sing in Sherborne Abbey at Christmas
So if you have a child between the ages of 5 – 13/14 who interested in joining our group, or you are interested yourself why not come along!
We meet every Wednesday evening at Leigh Village Hall during school term time.
For further detailed please contact
Caroline Hart on 01935 872471
Or email me on firstname.lastname@example.org