As a 14-year-old, Sean Luckham was a follow-spot operator at the Kings Theatre in Southsea, dreaming of one day himself being in the spotlight.
It’s a dream that has come true.
Bognor Regis-based Sean is playing Bottom on the Kings stage in Shakespeare 4 Kidz’ version of A Midsummer Night’s Dream on Wednesday, March 11 at 10.30am and 1.20pm.
“I was born and brought up in Portsmouth, and I have done panto there, as well as taking several other shows there. It’s just a fantastic theatre. It’s like going back home.
“Can you imagine being a 14-year-old and dreaming about being on that stage! I had always wanted to be actor, but that’s how I learnt that this was what I really, really wanted to do. The Kings is such a beautiful theatre.”
And it’s because of those origins there that Sean is pleased still do to things the
Shakespeare 4 Kidz way, with the actors serving as their own crew in terms of setting up the show in each new venue.
In fact, Shakespeare 4 Kidz is something Sean feels passionately about. It’s a company that brings in music and dance to make the Bard completely accessible to younger generations.
“What makes it work is because Shakespeare wrote absolutely fantastic stories - such original stories. We take the Shakespeare and mix in some modern language and songs and music, We might put a long speech to a nice song and music.”
If youngsters then want to delve deeper and take it further, they can turn to the original. Shakespeare 4 Kidz will have provided the perfect introduction.
“For a lot of the children, it will be the first time they have ever even seen a live show. This is very quick and grabs their attention. Every ten to 15 seconds there is something happening. You have got to keep it interesting.”
The problem is the tendency to think that Shakespeare is for the posh and the upper classes: “Shakespeare wrote for the masses. Most of them were normal, ordinary working people. Shakespeare was hijacked for the high-brow.”
Now Shakespeare 4 Kidz are doing their best to reclaim him...