The Beggars Theatre recently teamed up with Better Care Together to put on a comedy production called ‘SICK’ to school children across the Bay.
The play helps children learn how to use NHS services appropriately.
The performers used stories and songs along with interactive games to engage with the audience, made up of school children and their teachers. The performance involved inviting the pupils onto the stage and asking them to decide if an illness was a ‘big sick’ (when an ambulance needs called) or a little sick (something that can be treated at home such as a cold).
Lisa Newton, year three teacher at Westgate Primary School in Morecambe said: “The children all loved the performance and were talking about it and singing the songs all the way back to school and for the rest of the day. We talked with the children afterwards about what they had leant and they were able to tell us loads so it was clearly a worthwhile trip out.”
Andy Brewerton, year four teacher from Vickerstown Primary School in Barrow said: “The kids really enjoyed the performance; it was educational, interactive and met the levels of both children and adults.”
The show also concentrated on how to maintain good health through physical activity, healthy eating and preventing the spread of viruses and bacteria through hand washing. Actress Jakki Moore, from The Beggars Theatre said: “I am extremely happy to say that the mini tour of the SICK play was an overwhelming success! The school children loved the show and the teachers commented on how entertaining and educational it was for both staff and children. “I think the enthusiastic and fun approach to sharing information is what makes the play so effective!”
The feedback from some of the children showed how using comedy really helped get the message across: Adam, year four pupil at Scotforth primary school in Lancaster said: “It was awesome and funny” Emily, year four pupil at Scotforth primary school added: “I really enjoyed it; we didn’t just sit and watch we got to join in!”
Sally Coomber, NHS Cumbria Clinical Commissioning Officer attended the SICK performance at the Forum in Barrow and said: “It was great to see the children having fun, laughing and interacting with the actors, yet at the same time important health and wellbeing messages were being delivered in a way that children can relate to. If only all leaning was such fun!”
The show was commissioned by Better Care Together and was written and performed by Jakki Moore from the Beggars Theatre and Gary Bridgens from the headzuptheatre group.
Primary school children from Barrow, Lancaster, Carnforth and Morecambe were all invited to attend the performances which took place at The Forum in Barrow in Furness and at The Platform in Morecambe.
The children left the theatre singing the catchy songs from the show reiterating the effectiveness of educating children in this way.