Dear Parents, 

This term Sideways Drama reaches a fantastic milestone with 100 children attending this Spring! 105 in fact. Since our last big production in 2015, which featured 50 children, Sideways has doubled it’s numbers and it’s most definitely time to celebrate Sideways expansion and showcase all of the children’s growth of confidence, their humour and their talent. I’m delighted to have secured the wonderful Theatre at LVS school, Ascot (a happy half-way location for my three classes) and to be able to provide the children with an opportunity to perform on a professional platform. The production will be a wonderfully fun process with so many beneficial and uplifting positives to gain from the learning and performance experience. I very much hope that many of my current members will be able to be a part of it and celebrate Sideways successes with me! 

Participation and Summer Term Booking 

The form attached is to confirm whether your child will/will not be able to take part in the performance. It is important for me to know which children will be participating at this planning stage for both creative purposes and to calculate the number of chaperones I will need. It also includes some of the information I will need to provide to the council for them to issue our Body of Persons approval. If your child cannot participate then please only fill out the relevant information. Booking forms for the Summer Term will go out (either by paper or online) before the Easter Holidays. 

The Performance 

As with much of what I do, I like to devise original pieces and scripts tailored to the children’s personalities and talents, so I’ll be writing this performance for them - to showcase their strong points. To give you a rough idea, the performance will be divided into three Acts with my Windsor Classes (St Stephens Hall & Trinity St Stephens), Wokingham Classes (Westende & Wescott) and Pinewood Classes (both Saturday classes) performing together in the same Act. For the younger classes, it will very much be a group piece, focused mostly on mime and movement (but there may be some who speak) which will be a fun and lively group performance for them. For the older classes, there will be scripted scenes. I aim to give every child something to say but I have expressed that if they feel more comfortable saying less, that is absolutely fine and they can come and tell me that. On the whole, it will be a show where they are all visible and all have their moment! 


Class Rehearsals begin - May 

Rehearsals - Weekend 6th/7th July (TBC) & Saturday 13th July (@LVS) time TBC

Performance - Sunday 14th July (there will be a matinee and evening so children and chaperones will need to be available for the whole day)

At the moment, I can’t confirm details of the 6th/7th July rehearsals as I am finalising venues but please note that it will be either the 6th or 7th (not both), for a maximum of 3 hours and it will be in a venue local to the children’s classes. We will then come together on the Saturday 13th at LVS for a full rehearsal. This will be an important rehearsal for the children (and chaperones/helpers) to familiarise themselves with the venue and stage. It is likely this rehearsal will take place in the afternoon to allow for the children’s morning commitments but these details will all be confirmed as soon as I have secured the venues. 
* If there is a rehearsal that you know your child cannot attend, please get in touch with me to discuss this as if there are particular circumstances such as a family wedding or another show, then we may be able to work around this.

Fundraising and Contributions 

Other than a few items that you may need to bring together or purchase for your child’s individual costume, there will be no fee for being in this production. I’m aware that some companies do this but I prefer to balance out the costs of the show with contributions for tickets and refreshments etc. If you would like to make a contribution to the performance, please include your donation in the provided envelope. All contributions will go toward the many costs involved in staging our performance and however small, will be greatly appreciated. 


As I previously mentioned, in the interest of your children’s safety, events such as these now have to be endorsed by the local council and granted a Body of Person’s approval. This approval is subject to there being the required number of licence chaperones to supervise the children backstage. It is likely I will need a minimum of 4 adults per class (this may be less for my smaller classes). If you already work with children or you help with your child’s school trips/other events, or support an activity group (Scouts, gymnastics, sports, dance etc.), then you may already have a Chaperone Licence. If not, this would be a beneficial thing to have for the future. If your child has any serious allergies (that require medication for e.g.) I would strongly recommend that you also volunteer. 

As a chaperone you will need to be available to attend our rehearsals on the 13th July and you will need to be available for the whole day on the 14th. I will also arrange, sometime during the w/c 8th July, an evening meeting  for ALL chaperones and helpers, to go through our script, details and the health and safety elements of the building, before our final rehearsals.  

The chaperones role will be to supervise the children in their group’s holding area and then to escort them backstage for their entrance on stage, remaining backstage/in the wings while they perform and collecting and returning with them to their holding areas. So long as I have the required number of chaperones, I can then have DBS checked helpers to assist with all of this. At this moment in time, I can’t say whether chaperones will be able to watch the performance from the audience. They will be able to see some of the performance - certainly the group they’re supervising’s moment on stage though, as they will be with them backstage. In the past I have had support enough to alternate my helpers to allow them to support one performance and watch the other, but I will only be able to do this with enough people involved. So please be aware that there may be a chance that if you volunteer to chaperone you will not get to watch in the audience. 

If you volunteer for this, I will assist you, along with the relevant people at your respective councils, to make the application. The process will require you to undergo a DBS check, complete an application and possibly attend an interview. I think there is also a small fee involved but this will be dependent upon which council you live under. You also need a minimum of three months for this to go through so I aim to start the applications as soon as I have the forms returned to me. 

Thank you for your positive comments and encouragement so far. As ever, I am so grateful for your support and it will be hugely important in helping me to bring this all together. If you have any queries, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with me or talk to me before/after classes (please avoid communication/messages through your child’s schools - please contact me instead). I look forward to receiving your forms and starting the process! 
Warm regards 

Janine Wetherall
Tel; 07719 746406

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