Project takes shape for Notts kids at Palace Theatre Mansfield

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The Heartstone Odyssey will take shape at Mansfield Palace Theatre this Thursday (February 23) with its main characters coming to life through storytelling and dance-drama involving Nottinghamshire schoolchildren.

The event will provide the opportunity for children from Nottinghamshire schools to showcase their understanding of the impact of prejudice, discrimination and hate crime gained from the Heartstone project.

The children have been reading The Heartstone Odyssey, a fantasy novel and using it to raise discussion and debate that has led to the production of a range of creative work including artwork, some of which will be on display before the show.

The project is targeted at pupils Years 5-7 and has involved schools including:

• Kingsway Primary School, Kirkby in Ashfield

• John Blow Primary School, Collingham

• Forest View Junior School, New Ollerton

• Walesby C of E Primary School, Walesby

• Springbank Primary School, Eastwood

• Thrumpton Primary School, Retford

• Tuxford Primary Academy, Tuxford.

Heartstone is a non-profit organisation which aims to raise awareness of social and environmental issues, challenge prejudice and intolerance and create understanding of different nationalities, cultures, races, faiths and backgrounds.

The theatre show will involve selected pupils from four of the schools and includes art work and will be attended by parents and teachers and special guests from around the UK.

The children will perform alongside Sitakumari and dancers from Heartstone’s Moving Lives Dance Theatre based in Liverpool and the show will open with a film trailer created by pupils at All Saints Primary School, Elston.

Art and sculptures for the stage backdrop which will set the scene at the start of the show have been created by 60 south Nottinghamshire young people with disabilities.

Nottinghamshire County Council, the county’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Inspire and Experian have provided funding for the local schools project, which has been awarded a Commended certificate in the National Crimebeat Awards 2016/17 for helping to reduce crime and create safer communities.

Director and principal dancer, Sitakumari says: “The Heartstone Odyssey is a gripping epic adventure but also a moral tale for today and couldn’t be more timely.

“The books have been written to entertain, a story for children, that adults too, can enjoy and, as with all great stories, will leave you seeing the world in a different way forever.”