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Children’s Mental Health Week
Article 5 by Phil Barnett

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Three lockdowns in one year – that’s a lot to cope with for any adult, let alone young people! Here at Kidz R Us, my youth theatre group in St Ives, Cornwall, it has been a year of ups and downs.

Most of the time we were really lucky that our group could continue to rehearse – as long as schools were operating then so could we. Our Kidz, from ages 6 to 20 could continue working towards the shows we had planned but last summer the government guidelines said that theatres couldn’t open and so we had to shelve our summer season of musicals – we were due to present three of them – Seussical the Musical, based on the Doctor Seuss books and the film Horton Hears A Who, The Queen musical We Will Rock You and another less-known musical comedy called Disenchanted that tells the story of six Disney Princesses whose lives didn’t end up Happily Ever After!

Obviously our Kidz were disappointed but they soldiered on in the knowledge that we would start rehearsals for our Christmas panto Robinson Crusoe and the Pirates. We had to do a lot of preparation to follow the guidelines and we divided them up into three different bubbles and had to put so many rules and regulations in place but our Kidz were amazing and just took it all in their stride!

We started off rehearsing for this and the whole cast were having a ball as most of their other activities were stopped and it was a joy to see them having so much fun and giving their all in the rehearsals. Then came lockdown three and everything had to stop.

In the first lockdowns we did quite a few things online but in this third lockdown our Kidz have been home-schooling on their computers all day so the last thing they wanted was to do more stuff online in the evenings.

So at the moment its all gone a bit quiet until the schools go back and we hope that we will then be able to start rehearsals once more and plan a series of summer shows again!

Phil Barnett
Chairman of Trustees
Kidz R Us

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