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High Peak kids take Blue John to the stage

The stars of High Peak Community Arts' Blue John with musician Caro Churchill get into character at Treak Cliff Cavern. Photo contributed.

The stars of High Peak Community Arts' Blue John with musician Caro Churchill get into character at Treak Cliff Cavern. Photo contributed.

A Hope Valley novel will be brought to life for the first time next week, thanks to a community project for High Peak youngsters.

The budding actors and singers are putting on two productions of Blue John, based on the book by Edale author Berlie Doherty, through a High Peak Community Arts initiative.

Two groups of eight to 14-year-olds from Fairfield and Gamesley, have been taking part in workshops with professional artists, composers and musicians since April.

The tale follows the journey of a young boy and the decisions he faces as he goes through his life. To gain insight into the narrative, the children met at a week-long camp in Castleton this week, where the book is set.

During the summer school, the participants received added input from operatic singer Daisy Barker, theatre-maker Paul Hine and visual artist Katy McCall, and the new material will be shaped into the final show.

“It’s a chance for them to get to know each other, get together and to share what they’ve been doing,” said Sophie Mackreth, of HPCA. “I’m a bit apprehensive because I know most of them have done nothing like that kind of thing before but I know the team are really experienced so it’s going to be fantastic. I’m really excited.”

Blue John’s theatrical debut will be the first performance of HPCA’s two-year Tall Tales project, funded by Foundation for Youth Music.

Performances will take place at 7.30pm at the Geoffrey Allen Centre, on Winster Mews, Gamesley, on August 5 and Buxton Pavilion Arts Centre, St John’s Road, Buxton, on September 2.

Tickets, costing £3 for adults and £1 for concessions, are available from Gamesley Community Café, Buxton Opera House and High Peak Community Arts in New Mills.

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