The Black Oak

by Philip Mitchell

Introduction

An enchanting new production for Primary Schools by the writer of ‘Home Front’ and ‘The Music Box Maker’.

In Gwent Theatre’s latest production two children move from the city to the countryside. They make friends with a local boy beneath the gaze of the black oak tree. Amid tales of ghosts and legends the three children come under the spell of the spirit of the tree and learn about the lives of others who once played beneath its branches.

The production aims to give young audiences a sense of history within our families and communities. A sense of time passing and, though people grow, age and pass on, nature and our surroundings sometimes remain untouched for centuries, standing as monumental observers to unfolding events. One such monument is the Black Oak Tree. The production is also about learning to work together, to offer help where it is needed, to respect others’ emotions and not to take advantage of a person’s fears or weaknesses. Lastly, it is about the supernatural, ghosts and spirits, fairies at the bottom of the garden. A child’s fascination with the unknown and the dreadful curiosity that makes them peak from beneath the bedclothes, even though they fear they are beset by some fearsome demon! It also addresses language and literacy and how we can help one another to learn and understand when we are challenged by new words and situations.