Now that schools are back and lots of other extracurricular activities have returned, you might be forgiven for thinking that there is not much need for online classes anymore. But with some people still still shielding and a raft of new restrictions looming, it’s nice to know that there remain online offerings. Like many other families, we found ourselves stuck in the house last week when a back to school cold quickly developed into a cough. After playing the Covid test lottery for half the day, we did eventually source a home test on Monday afternoon, but that still meant several days of being cooped up together while we waited for the results. With Mummy and Mrs Mummy both busy with work, and no homeschool activities to provide a semblance of structure for the munchkins, we started to go stir crazy very quickly. But as luck would have it, salvation arrived on Tuesday afternoon in the form of a Creation Home Delivery drama taster class, which we already happened to have in the diary.
Led live by a professional actor over Zoom, Creation’s weekly classes run for a 12 week term, with each class covering a different classic story. They are accompanied by a weekly storytelling package with materials to aid attendees in their adventures. The munchkins joined a Sprites session (aimed at ages 5-10) where the focus was Romeo and Juliet.
Once Mummy had finally worked out how to turn her laptop audio on, she relinquished it to the munchkins for an hour long virtual trip to Verona. The class began with a short cartoon explaining the plot of the play, before the group were split into Montagues and Capulets, then banished to break-out rooms to discuss their strategy for a Shakesperian twist on drama game Giants, Wizards and Gremlins (which is effectively a team version of Rock, Paper, Scissors). A few rounds of intense thumb-biting later, the Montagues had a narrow lead and it was was time to get dressed for the Capulet ball.
Creation Home Delivery classes include special postal deliveries of crafty activities to do before class. For this class, this included a mask to decorate for the ball (which was also emailed to those of us doing the taster classes). Everyone was also encouraged to get dressed up in whatever costumes they could find, then it was time to throw some shapes on the dance floor (with points up for grabs). After that it was time to rehearse the balcony scene, with everyone given an opportunity to have a go at a line, before we moved on to re-enact the tragic demise of Romeo and Juliet (with more points available for the most dramatic death!) By the end of the class, the Montagues had a narrow lead and had to decide whether to donate their points and agree a truce with the Capulets. Fittingly, while the other member of the Montagues cast their votes on whether to bury the hatchet with the Capulets, the munchkins decided to have a full blown fight in front of the camera (with Quaver adamant that she would rather have points than peace)!
Family feud aside, the munchkins really enjoyed themselves and were both able to explain the story of Romeo and Juliet to us later that evening. Quaver’s favourite part of the class was disco dancing at the ball while Crotchet particularly enjoyed doing her dramatic death scene! Mummy thought that the class was well structured, with great use of break-out rooms to keep children engaged and a good balance between the high energy activities and the more sedate sections. There was also some nice use of technology to enhance the Zoom room features. Despite the distance between participants, there was still a lot of interaction between them, with opportunities for every individual to speak if they wanted to (but no pressure to do so). Although aimed at ages 5-10, it’s probably more suitable for those towards the top of the age range as younger children might struggle with reading text in the chat boxes and some of the stories (such as Romeo and Juliet itself) may have themes that parents consider unsuitable for a 5 year old. Quaver has just turned 7 and we think she was probably just on the edge of the appropriate age range for this particular session, whereas it worked well for Crotchet (nearly 9).
We would definitely recommend Creation Home Delivery to anyone missing their usual drama classes or looking to pick up a new online activity this Autumn. Classes are available 5 days a week (Monday to Thursday and Saturday) and last an hour. Sprites classes are available for ages 5-10 and Mechanicals for ages 11-16. A term costs £126, with sibling discounts available. Find out more at: https://www.creationtheatre.co.uk/education/creation-home-delivery/