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Drama for a seven-year-old

(17 Posts)
Hallgerda Mon 19-Feb-07 08:36:34

I think my DS3 would like, and really get something out of, some sort of drama activity, but I know next to nothing about what might be available. I'm not looking for a Stagecoach/Jigsaw type group with added singing and dancing or anything directed towards "cool kids" - the latter isn't down to snobbery btw - DS3 just doesn't fall into that category. Could anyone tell me what types of activity might be available, or, even better, recommend a group, class or whatever in South London?

As it's half term, it may take me a while to get back to this thread - please bear with me

Hulababy Mon 19-Feb-07 08:44:18

Have a look in your local paper/free ads. Often they list all the children's groups and activities available in an area. Look for ones in church halls, etc. if you want to acoid the big named organisations.

Hallgerda Mon 19-Feb-07 08:49:23

Thanks, Hulababy - I could do that, but I was hoping someone might be able to advise me on what I should be looking for among the small ads iyswim. The "group, class or whatever" in the OP illustrates my cluelessness on that point, and I was hoping someone with experience could help me work out what I wanted.

julienetmum Mon 19-Feb-07 16:27:01

There will be very littla available for a seven year old other than the franchised type classes. This is because most youth theatre type groups are usually working towards a performance and children under 8 years old are subject to fairly stringent licensing conditions as to what they can and can not do in the theatre.

Helen O'Grady do classes for that age group, I have no idea if they are what you call directed towards cool kids or not, I only really know about Stagecoach.

Some dance schools will offer acting or drama as an extra or even standalone activity, which may also be open to children who do not attend their dance class.

nikkie Mon 19-Feb-07 20:05:06

We have 2 local Youth theatres which you can join at 7 but will just be acting as extras at first.
dds do Helen O'Grady, IMO its very expensive and they do a 15min performance in July for parents but the rest of the year is drama/speech/improvisation type skills.

Hallgerda Mon 19-Feb-07 21:50:19

Thanks everyone . nikkie, if you don't mind me asking, how expensive is Helen O'Grady? Their website isn't awfully forthcoming. I think drama/speech/improvisation skills are probably the sort of thing I'm looking for. julienetmum, thanks for the information - I was rather hoping to hear from you. No offence meant over Stagecoach; I just don't think dancing or singing is DS3's thing. My "cool kids" reference was to do with a wish to avoid anything with too much rap or "street culture" in it (again, really not his thing). I presume Helen O'Grady doesn't do that.

julienetmum Mon 19-Feb-07 21:59:03

Sorry I have no idea what H O Grady charge.

Just another thought. One of our local professional theatres run workshops via their education department. I think they start at about age 7. It depends on the theatre and what funding they have got for that sort of activity.

No offence taken, SC is not for everyone.

estatebabe Mon 19-Feb-07 22:11:24

hallgerda - Helen O'Grady charge about £80.00 a term (10 wks). Pay up front, no freebe in case you don't like it. My dd did it for 4 weeks and hated it. I was not impressed. £80.00 down the drain.

julienetmum Mon 19-Feb-07 22:17:22

Really, no trial period

nikkie Mon 19-Feb-07 22:54:24

If you know anyone who goes to Helen O'Grady they sometimes have a friends day .Take a friend for a freebie and they'll try to get friend to join!
Dd1 has gone for nearly 2 years and dd2 has been going since Sept, both have gone off it now though as the teacher changed and they (well Dd1) took it personally!

florenceuk Mon 19-Feb-07 23:07:05

Are you close to Wimbledon? Polka theatre run courses for kids. They are definitely not for "cool" kids - a lot of people send their kids on the courses to gain confidence and to come out of their shell.

Hallgerda Tue 20-Feb-07 08:37:32

Thanks, everyone. florenceuk, the Polka courses do look good, but unfortunately I'd never be able to get to Wimbledon by 4pm (I'm not so many miles away, but Tooting - so called because there's been a traffic jam there since Saxon times is between here and there.). I've found out that my local theatre does a class and is considerably cheaper than Helen O'Grady (I'd be happy to post a link if anyone's interested) but unfortunately the timing rules it out.

I think I'll leave it for a while - maybe try a holiday drama course and see if DS3 likes it.

estatebabe, I'd be very interested to know what was it your daughter hated. Was it something specific to H o'G or would any drama group have had the same problem?

batters Tue 20-Feb-07 08:54:56

Hallgerda there are drama classes on a Saturday at the senior school:

"Act
(07976) 873161
act…Creative, Fun, Inspiring, Builds Confidence!
Act Drama workshops hold Weekly Drama Classes, Holiday Projects and Drama Parties for 5-15 year olds in the south London area.

The actress behind Act, Jane Cameron, studied acting at Webber Douglas drama school. All workshops are run by professional actors.

Drama classes are energised, fun and inspiring they build confidence and self esteem. Children are encouraged to free their imaginations and express their creativity. The actors create an encouraging, supportive and inclusive atmosphere. Workshops include theatre games, improvisation, movement, rehearsals and performance’s to friends and family!

Act Parties are jam packed with drama games, personalised adventure stories, treasure hunts and riddles!

Join now .... first class FREE

Weekly Classes are held on Saturday mornings at Streatham & Clapham High School, 42 Abbotswood Road SW16 1AW

SUMMER HOLIDAY WORKSHOP - July and August '07

For information contact Jane Cameron on the number above or Email: jane@actdrama.fsnet.co.uk "

I have no idea if they are any good or not - I am around for the older kid's class - and they really seem to enjoy it.

I too really wanted my dd to do the Polka Classes but there was no way she could make them in time either .

batters Tue 20-Feb-07 08:57:21

PS Have a great half term

Hallgerda Tue 20-Feb-07 13:24:56

Thanks, batters - it's really kind of you to post all that. Unfortunately, weekends are not a good time for us - DS1 and DS2 are keen cricket and chess players so often have other things to do and we need regular trips out of town to keep our sanity. I'll look into the holiday workshop though - it sounds good and it's within walking distance.

ElenyaTuesday Tue 20-Feb-07 18:24:05

Mine go to Helen O' Grady and we were allowed a three week trial period - only paid for that, if they didn't like it we didn't have to pay any more. My two love it, though! Ds1 went to Stagecoach for a while and hated it. I find Helen O'Grady a bit more relaxed. Although from what estatebabe says it must depend on your local franchise!!

mumeeee Sat 24-Feb-07 13:27:50

Hi Hallgerda.
Is there a local community centere or arts centre that does Drama classes. My 15 year old goes to the 12-15 year old class at our local Arts centre. When she was younger she went to the Junior calss which starte from age 7. The children ther are just ordainaiery children. I pay £15 membership for the whole year then £3,50 per session she does not pay if she doesnn't go. The membership means she can get discounted entry to other activities and plays held there.

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