Review: National Theatre: Play in a Box.

Play in a Box box  

We recently received a very special package from National Theatre
and we couldn’t wait to try it out. Play in a Box is exactly what it
sounds like, it has all the resources and direction to encourage
children to perform their own plays, direct performances, construct
story lines and more. We couldn’t wait to try it out!
There’s
a lot to get your head around in this box, from the booklet (with a lot
of fab info) to the tickets and other fab bits and bobs. We’ve created
little performances before and loved it, so it was great to have an
organised way to create more fantastic plays. 

The set includes several key elements to creating a play including:

  • Character cards (opponents, heroes, strangers and friends)
  • Stagecraft Handbook
  • Plot Twists Book
  • Setting Cards
  • Ticket Template
  • Programme Template 

The
first thing we did was check out the Stagecraft Handbook for a little
direction. At first we found it a bit confusing, because the first few
pages have so much information. I’d probably suggest giving it a full
read through before beginning the process of creating your play…

George and Molly looking at the stagecraft handbook and cards.

George
and Molly started off by selecting their characters and settings. The
cards are full of wonderful suggestions such as a ghost or a bunny and
really appealing to the likes of our two little ones!

George and Molly sorting the character cards.

Play in a Box character card.

The
handbook allows you to break down the different stages of a creating a
play, starting with characters and settings, moving on to storyline,
costume and stage setting. When we began our journey with our first
play, the kiddies were pretty poorly, so it’s been a case of dipping in
and out of the box when we can and they feel up to it. 

This
really works, because you can pick up where you left off and continue
creating your play. You can also work on various parts of the process
such as creating a programme for the show or you could practise your
lines, depending on the mood your children are in. 

Play in a Box cast list.

 I really love all the ideas for creating costumes, as well as how to write a storyline that works with the various characters. 

George as an evil scientist.

George
and Molly were so involved in their storyline and I can imagine this is
the kind of activity that will keep everyone happy for hours. I can see
them creating performances for us using Play in a Box and I doubt it
could ever get boring because there’s always a different character,
place or plot twist. 

We’re yet to perform our first play, mostly due to illness, but we’re also still working on costumes and dialogue. Yes, George and Molly take it very seriously. I will share a video on youtube when we’ve performed our first performance with Play in a Box, so keep an eye out!

We
really love our Play in a Box and I think it’s the perfect gift for
Christmas. It helps children explore their imagination, it helps them
negotiate with their siblings/friends when it comes to decision making
and it encourages confidence, performance skills and creativity.

You can get your own Play in a Box set for just £12.99 from The National Theatre or Amazon

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