With the help of a lottery grant, Vernham Dean Gillum's CE Primary School worked with a composer in residence, Ed Lambert, to create a comic opera - The Dream that hath No Bottom - based on a topic from the time of the Tudors.
The children worked in small groups with Ed Lambert, composing music principally on percussion instruments. Ed Lambert took these small tunes and built finished pieces of music around them. A professional writer came to the school to work with the children on the scripts; a professional opera singer worked on stage presence, and a choreographer came to help with positioning and dance.
Every child in the school - 107 of them - was involved in some way. The first performance was on February 9th at the Village Hall in Vernham Dean, with subsequent performances at the Cricklade Theatre in Andover.
"I doubt whether any primary school in the country has attempted anything quite as ambitious as this. It is a two hour production, with fantastic costumes, which is part opera, part comedy and part Shakespeare. It is entirely original, well acted with enthusiasm, humour and professionalism. It also made full use of modern technology, with mini-discs, digital camera work and videoing for evaluating and improving performances. Aurelia and I enjoyed every minute of it."