“THE QUEEN’S Knickers” was the subject of an intergenerational performance between school pupils and elderly care home residents in Northumberland.
Youngsters from Malvin’s Close Academy, on Albion Road, Blyth, and residents at The Oaks Care Home, on Durban Street, have been rehearsing for two months for their show, based on the children’s book by Nicholas Allen.
Working with music and dance teachers from older people’s charity Equal Arts and their HenPower project, the group turned the book into a 20-minute musical, writing songs and dialogue and choreographing dances.
Hannah Shaw, a textile artist with Equal Arts, also helped residents from the care home to make props, including extra big knickers, for the performers to use.
After weekly rehearsals since the start of May, the children, all aged between five and 11, recently performed “The Queen’s Knickers” in the care home’s garden, backed by singing care home residents.
Dennis Allen, 88, one of the residents from The Oaks Care Home who took part in the project, said: “It’s been an absolutely amazing project. Blooming marvellous.
“We’ve all loved working with the children who are just magic. I’ve done a lot of things since coming to live at The Oaks but never thought I’d be making big fancy knickers.”
Lisa Tosney, activities coordinator at The Oaks Care Home, said: “The project has been fantastic for our residents and the children.
“Over the course of two months, they have all got to know each other really well and developed some amazing friendships – despite their ages.
“The performance itself was fantastic and hilarious. Everyone thoroughly enjoyed putting on the show and they all sang beautifully.
“What a brilliant way for the children to wrap up their school year and a fabulous way for our residents to do something different.
“We’d like to say a massive thank you to Equal Arts and HenPower for running the sessions and getting our residents involved in the project.”
Jos Forester Melville, Equal Arts’ HenPower lead, said: “It’s been fantastic to be able to support residents, staff, and children with creative workshops and to see them able to learn and create alongside each other once again.
“The story has proved a great way for both groups to connect while supported by professional artists to explore their imaginations and enjoy the wellbeing benefits being creative can bring.”