YOUNG performers have stepped out on the school stage for a rock-themed take on the classic tale of Beowulf.
The production was put on by year-five and six pupils at St Nicolas and St Mary Primary School, in Eastern Avenue, Shoreham.
After performing to the school on Friday, they put on two shows for parents and friends on Monday – to rapturous applause.
Year-six teacher Helen Burt wrote the play, adapting it from the epic poem – 3,182 lines in Old English – which was written more than 1,000 years ago. And woven into the story were rock ’n’ roll songs inspired by the likes of Led Zeppelin, Meat Loaf and Bonnie Tyler.
Miss Burt said: “All the children should be really proud of themselves. They were fantastic.
“The year-six pupils played their roles perfectly, supported brilliantly by the year-fives in the chorus.”
The story is set in Scandinavia and tells the tale of Beowulf, a warrior who vows to help the Danes, who are plagued by the murderous monster Grendel. But after defeating the beast, Beowulf and his friends discover a far worse terror awaits them – the monster Grendel’s mother.
The performance featured several choreographed dance routines and songs, giving pupils plenty to remember.
But Miss Burt said they had proved they were more than up to the challenge.
“They learned so many dance moves, songs and lines, and no-one missed a beat at either performance,” she added.
“It was great to see all the parents’ smiling faces in the audience, and the applause the children got showed how well they performed.”
After the curtain came down on Monday evening’s performance, St Nicolas and St Mary Primary School head teacher David Etherton paid tribute to all the pupils and staff who made the show such a success – as well as the parent helpers, without whom, he said, performances like Beowulf at the school simply would not be possible, a sentiment echoed by Miss Burt. She said: “We couldn’t put on shows like this without the support of parents, whose help in making the set and costumes was invaluable.
“Thank you to all of those who helped make the show such a success.”