Youngsters play their part in new Octagon show

First published in News

PRIMARY school youngsters will be heard but not seen when they play a part in a world premiere theatre production.

Staff and youngsters at Gaskell Primary School have been busy creating the crowd scenes for the stage production of Tull at the Octagon.

And the talented children did not have to be asked twice to shout, cheer and chant.

Tull tells the true tale of World War One hero Walter Tull — a talented officer on the battlefield and the first black outfield player in the first division of the Football League.

The children’s recordings will be used as sound effects during the play, including football crowds and one in which children at an orphanage cheer as Tull enters.

Headteacher Emily Kirk said she was delighted when the Octagon asked if the children could provide the sound effects.

She said: “The whole school had to laugh, cheer and shout on demand. We all had to stamp our feet and clap our hands while chanting ‘Walter Tull’.

“The children are looking forward to going to see the production when it starts later this month.”

Rabiya Majid, aged 10, said: “It was really exciting to be part of the production and create sound effects that will entertain audiences from all over Bolton.”

One youngster, Muminah Patel, aged 10, was asked to take on an extra part. He said: “I was chosen to read a line for the play — I had to shout it in my loudest voice. It was a great experience and interesting to see all the equipment used to record us.”

The Octagon’s production team said they were impressed by the young performers’ acting skills. Sound designer Andy Smith said: “They were all really excited to be involved and they provided exactly what we need.

“Being able to use authentic sounds during a production makes a big difference so we’re incredibly grateful to the school for getting involved.”

● Tull opens at the Octagon on Thursday, February 21, and runs until March 16.

● See tomorrow’s entertainment guide for an interview with Nathan Ives- Moiba, the actor taking on the lead role of Walter Tull

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