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New theatre group aims to create performances inspired by Mousehold Heath

PUBLISHED: 14:42 30 March 2018 | UPDATED: 14:42 30 March 2018

Norwich teacher Sophie Utting is setting up The Mousehold Theatre Company which will encourage children to create performances inspired by Mousehold Heath.
Photo: supplied by Sophie Utting

Norwich teacher Sophie Utting is setting up The Mousehold Theatre Company which will encourage children to create performances inspired by Mousehold Heath. Photo: supplied by Sophie Utting

supplied by Sophie Utting

A new theatre group aiming to captivate children’s imaginations and spark a love of the outdoors is being set up in the north of the city.

Norwich teacher Sophie Utting is setting up The Mousehold Theatre Company which will encourage children to create performances inspired by Mousehold Heath.
Photo: supplied by Sophie UttingNorwich teacher Sophie Utting is setting up The Mousehold Theatre Company which will encourage children to create performances inspired by Mousehold Heath. Photo: supplied by Sophie Utting

The Mousehold Theatre Company is the idea of Norwich teacher Sophie Utting who hopes to encourage children to explore Mousehold Heath and create performances inspired by the area’s natural surroundings.

The nature-based theatre group is for children aged seven to 14-years-old and it will take place on Saturdays during term times.

Ms Utting, who has specialised in working on site-specific performances for more than a decade, said that in this digital age where social media, computer games and technology take up more and more of people’s time, the group was a way of encouraging children to enjoy the outdoors more and appreciate nature.

“The Mousehold Theatre Company is about empowering children to respond to the world around them,” she said.

Norwich teacher Sophie Utting is setting up The Mousehold Theatre Company which will encourage children to create performances inspired by Mousehold Heath.
Photo: supplied by Sophie UttingNorwich teacher Sophie Utting is setting up The Mousehold Theatre Company which will encourage children to create performances inspired by Mousehold Heath. Photo: supplied by Sophie Utting

“It’s about enhancing developmental, interpersonal, lingual, cognitive and creative skills, and building a strong connection, respect and interaction with nature and the spaces Norwich has to offer.

“I’m very excited about meeting the children we’ll be working with, and seeing what we can create together.”

Instead of performing from scripts, the children will create their own performances from their experiences in classes at Lazar House, in Sprowston Road, and out on the heath.

The classes will look at theatre techniques, storytelling, dance, music, puppetry and mask making.

Mousehold Heath is the largest nature reserve in Norwich, a mix of heathland, woodland and recreational open space that spans 88 hectares (184 acres).

In Tudor times, Mousehold Heath stretched as far north as South Walsham and was 22 miles round. The surviving part of the heath was given to Norwich City Council (then known as the local corporation) to look after on behalf of the citizens of Norwich in 1880.

The Mousehold Theatre Company is holding a free taster session on Saturday and places should be booked in advance by calling 07584 061349, emailing mouseholdtheatre@gmail.com or visiting the Mousehold Theatre page on Facebook.

For people unable to attend the taster session, the first class will be free of charge as long as it is booked in advance.

The Mousehold Theatre Company’s classes will begin on Saturday, April 21 at Lazar House, in Sprowston Road, Norwich.


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