This project delivered ‘Bex and Rex in the Beastly Brecks’, a 40-minute interactive educational theatre piece, written and performed by Tangram Theatre company. The play was designed to be accessible and humorous, with key stories about the Brecks’ heritage, species and landscape. Designed to reflect and support science and history aspects of the National Curriculum, the primary target was Key Stage 2 pupils. During the summer term of 2016, 14 schools enjoyed performances which were attended by 1,398 pupils, far exceeding the anticipated target of 1,000. There were also public performances at the Brecks Fest at West Stow Country Park on Easter weekend, Forest Fest at Brandon Country Park on 3rd June and at the Latitude Festival on 8-10th July. These reached 1,166 people, almost double the intended target of 600.
The play followed the two main characters, Bex, an inquisitive girl, and her talking pet dog, Rex. They travel around parts of the Brecks such as heathland and forest, meeting other characters including the spritely singing Swedish Pool Frog ‘Sven’ and ‘Keith’, the ghostly mammoth of the heath,. They learn lots of things about flint, stone curlews, trees, the ice ages and the threats that the Brecks faces, from the fact-filled duo, ‘The Brecksperts’. There were lots of opportunities to interact and get involved with the performance as well as whole-audience participation and lots of jumping up and down!
The sing-along script was packed full of information, incorporating many aspects of other BNG projects. At the end of each show, time was set aside from a Q&A session with the actors which was always fully utilised by engaged and excited pupils. Educational resources were developed alongside the script which were provided to all schools involved, including materials for a ‘Part 2’ to be created and performed by pupils in response to the original play.
This project was led by Forest Heath District Council.