The last Swindon’s Childrens’ Centres will close later in June, but Swindon’s Prime Theatre Company is touring the town with a special production to tell stories how families and children have been helped over the last few years.
Senior staff at 4Children, the charity which run the childrens’ centre which are shutting following Swindon Council’s decision to cut funding, have commissioned Prime Theatre to perform their show ‘Butterfly’ at centres in Gorse Hill, Parks and Walcot, Drove and Penhill. The tour started on 6 June.
‘Butterfly’ is a co-production between Prime and Trowbridge company, Light and Lark, to help families to remember all the happy times they have shared together. It tells the life story of this beautiful creature as it explores the world with its brand new wings. Young audiences will enjoy a set of adventures through the seasons, making new animal friends and special memories along the way. The production features a vibrant mix of puppets, songs and animation. Performances will be followed with ‘stay and play’ sessions with the actors.
Kay White of 4Children said: “It’s wonderful to celebrate the journeys of our families through the support of the staff in the centres within these communities.’
Mark Powell, Artistic Director, Prime Theatre, added: “We’re so pleased to be part of the celebrations of all the great work that’s been done in these children centres. It proves what special places they were that they are waving their families off to the next part of their lives in such a caring and creative way.”
• 4Children is the national charity all about children and families. We have spearheaded a joined-up, integrated approach to children’s services and work with a wide range of partners around the country to ensure children and families have access to the services and support the need in their communities. It delivers childcare, family support and youth services across more than 150 settings, including children’s centres, nurseries, schools and RAF bases. It employs over 1,000 staff and volunteers and is one of the largest not for profit children’s centre providers in the country. www.4Children.org.uk
• Prime Theatre is Swindon’s only professional theatre company and receives core funding from Arts Council England and Swindon Borough Council. The company creates touring productions for audiences aged 12 months and up. Prime Theatre also run Prime Youth Theatre for young actors, writers and technicians aged 5-25 years.
• Light and Lark were founded in January 2015 with a commitment to create high-calibre, vibrant and engaging multisensory theatre for children and young people, creating work which employs South West artists. They address issues that are rarely explored within professional theatre, with a primary focus on children’s mental health. Butterfly is the company’s first production funded by Arts Council England and gently addresses themes of change and loss.