Meet our Elves!
Actors Elisha Covell and Jack Blakey took some time away from The Elves and the Shoemaker rehearsals to answer a few questions about this year’s children’s Christmas show.
Tell us a little bit about yourself and your previous acting experiences.
Elisha: I’m Elisha and I’m originally from Hull and I absolutely love doing children’s theatre. For me it’s about seeing that child’s face light up, when you put that costume on and become that character you can really play up to a child’s imagination. In terms of previous acting experience, one big thing for me was touring with Ben & Holly’s Little Kingdom which is another great children’s show. The fact that you get a mosh pit at the front of the stage is crazy! It’s really rewarding doing children’s theatre. Because I’m only 5”1’ I often get cast in children’s shows!
Jack: I’m Jack and I’m originally from Bradford but I now live in London after having completed a degree in Actor Musicianship at Rose Bruford College. Similar to Elisha, most of my previous acting experience has been with young people. I think for me what’s really special about doing this sort of work is just how amazing children’s imaginations are and how much they get into the story. For a child it’s real, you can put on a story and they don’t think it’s acting they think it’s real which is amazing. When it works it’s the best feeling from a performer’s point of view. My other acting experience has included Jack and the Beansprout and The Littlest Mermaid at The Garage in Norwich.
What can audiences expect from The Elves and the Shoemaker?
Elisha: I think they can expect a fun, happy, 50 minutes worth of craziness, different characters, they can sing along, they can join in, they can boo!
Jack: They can expect a really fast paced story as well, there’s no time to get bored with loads of music, singing and interaction.
The Elves and the Shoemaker is aimed at children aged 7 and under – why do you think it is important for younger children to go to the theatre?
Jack: I think it’s really important for young children to go to the theatre, partly because a live theatre performance really stretches their imagination and it allows them into a completely new scale of storytelling experience. The chance to immerse themselves in a story and see the performance happening live in front of them is so important for their understanding of the world.
Elisha: It makes their playful imagination come to life. I think it’s an important part of childhood to come and see these characters in front of them, they can decide whether they like them or not! I think it really keeps their imagination alive.
Jack: And what’s great about shows like this is it gives them a space to do that. People are often worried about theatre ‘rules’ and in shows like this we’re really not worried about all of that, the children are free to be themselves.
Elisha: It also lets them feel part of something and starting from a young age that’s really important.
What would you say to any families who may be concerned about bringing their children to the theatre?
Elisha: You’ve got to let them experience it for themselves. A child needs to learn whether they like it or not, it may not be for them but they need to come along and try it out.
Jack: I also think shows like this are great because they allow children to experience theatre in a completely safe space and to learn to appreciate the stories and all the magic of theatre without having to be worried about sitting still or being quiet. In The Elves and the Shoemaker we’re really not about that!
As part of The Courtyard’s children’s Christmas show there will be some festive magic sprinkled into the performance. What makes this time of year so magical for you?
Jack: I’ve always loved Christmas! I like that you get to spend time with family and all of the magic of the time of year. Growing up in the north we were quite lucky and often had snow at Christmas. I love that feeling of waking up and it has snowed then being able to go out and play with your friends and family. I also love waking up on Christmas morning and opening presents, eating Christmas dinner and playing games.
Elisha: I love being in a theatre show at Christmas time because for me it brings everybody together and everybody supports each other. I like meeting new people as well, this kind of work brings you into contact with so many new people who become lifelong friends. Also as Jack said, Christmas time is all about family and friends. I don’t think anybody should be alone at Christmas so come and join us at The Elves and the Shoemaker for 50 minutes of fun and crazy entertainment this festive season!
Book your tickets here for The Elves and the Shoemaker or call Box Office on 01432 340555.