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FESTIVAL REVIEWS: Young critics have their say on the Aurora Orchestra and The Rattler

Creative Critics ANL-160531-100333001
Creative Critics ANL-160531-100333001

In the build up to this year’s Bury Festival a team of young critics have been developing their skills in art criticism and creative writing in order to come and review three performances in the festival.

Year 5 students from Woolpit Primary Academy have been taking part in Creative Critics: Seeing, Doing, Knowing, directed by Christina Birt Projects and delivered in collaboration with Company of Angels.

We’re delighted to be able to support this so earlier this week published the young critic’s take on May Contain Food, an innovative dance and acapella project by Protein dance group.

Now the critics turn their eye to Aurora Orchestra’s memorised performance of Beethoven’s 5th at the Apex on Friday May 27 and The Rattler, an interactive retelling of Rumpelstiltskin performed at the Apex on Sunday May 29.

All reviews will also be available on the Festival website at www.buryfestival.co.uk/get-involved/creative-critics-2016

Aurora Orchestra: Beethoven 5 from memory

Review by: Molly Dixon. Age 10.

On Friday 27th May 2016, Aurora Orchestra played wonderful pieces of music by Beethoven. Each time they finished a piece there were waves of applause. It flowed and connected when they played each piece.

You could feel vibrations it was so loud! It was very dramatic and spooky, like someone was chasing you! There was a man talking and I found he went on a bit too long, but he was also very funny.

I think this was aimed at adults more than children and I found it went on a bit too long. It was amazing music though! The orchestra has lots of talent. I didn’t really know the meaning of this. Some people playing the music were getting everyone more interested, by playing with enthusiasm! Near the end the conductor (Nicholas Collon) said that the music was really loud as he was next to all the musicians, so the orchestra came into the audience and played a piece. It was really loud. After the show I enjoyed meeting Alex Holladay and Jamie Campbell. By the end I had a bit of a headache, but hearing all that powerful music was really moving and overall it was a really good show and I enjoyed it. I was glad to have the experience of going to a classical music concert.

Aurora Orchestra: Beethoven 5 from memory

Review by: Oliver H. Age 10.

All of Beethoven’s music and symphonies are a piece of art in themselves. If you decide you want a bit more then maybe consider listening to this orchestra. Who not only play Beethoven’s 5th symphony but play it completely from memory!!! This is a great piece of music that should be listened to as if it’s your first time. The Apex setting made me feel enclosed with the music. Beethoven’s 5th symphony is mainly aimed at adults but children could find it enjoyable. The instruments include flutes, trumpets,violins, trombone and lots more. There are roughly 40 orchestra members who have different roles in playing the music. This includes: 14 people on violins, 2 people playing the trumpets and 2 on the trombone. They wear smart, black uniforms that make it more organised when you are watching the orchestra play their instruments. The parts where Tom (presenter) spoke were interesting but I couldn’t always understand what he was talking about. Also overall the concert was quite long so an interval might have been nice but it was still a marvellous musical show. You could tell that the music told a story with the different instruments and the times that they played. The music was very exact but maybe it could have been made more dramatic with lighting to match the mood of Beethoven’s musical marvel. One of the most enjoyable moments of the evening was when the conductor (Nicholas Collon) said that the orchestra was going to become one with the audience it made you feel excited as they played the last part of the symphony all around you and you could hear instruments at all angles. It made you feel quite special to have that privilege. The Aurora Orchestra performed a piece of legendary music from memory which was very extraordinary and it is a must see for all Beethoven fans and people that like music and orchestras.

Aurora Orchestra: Beethoven 5 from memory

Review by: Molly Brown. Age 10.

The Aurora orchestra came to Bury St Edmunds to perform Beethoven’s 5th with a difference. The difference being that they would perform it from memory, no music stands in sight! Having never heard Beethoven before I was unsure what to expect, but within 30 seconds I was hooked. The orchestra was conducted by Nicholas Collon and the performance was presented by Tom Service. There were 40 performers in the orchestra, playing a variety of instruments some I had never seen before! The first piece of music was Beethovens ‘The creatures of Prometheus, Op.43’ It was quite slow and sad and gradually became happier and more dramatic. When this was finished the music stands were taken away and the presenter spoke to the conductor and Jamie Campbell who played the violin about how hard it was to learn and perform Beethoven’s 5th from memory. Tom Service said to the conductor that he got very involved and animated whilst conducting and the conductor said it’s because you get lost in the music. There was lots of talking before the music was played and I found this

quite boring and confusing as I didn’t really understand what he meant as he was talking about musical terms that I don’t understand. But all the talking did make me really excited for hearing the music as he obviously loved the music! The string instruments were at the front with the woodwind and the brass instruments were at the back. The performance was for all ages but mainly for older children and adults. The music was amazing and performed well. You didn’t know what to expect and I would sometimes think the music had ended and then it started up again and made me jump! After the performance there was an unexpected treat, the orchestra came into the audience and played a section from Beethoven’s 5th. It was amazing, I didn’t know where to look as the orchestra was everywhere ! When it was all over I was left feeling in awe and overwhelmed by how amazing it was! If you enjoy classical music then you should definitely go and see the Aurora Orchestra !

Aurora Orchestra: Beethoven 5 from memory

Review by: Leah Smallbone, Age nine.

When you first walk into the Apex you see a beautiful staircase on your right and left. We went up the left hand side staircase. When we went, we did a toilet stop, after that we went to our workshop room and talked for half an hour. Then we went and sat in the large hall then the orchestra came out and played an introduction without the conductor and then the conductor came out. Next they played with their musical notes and then they took the notes away and they had to play without the stands it was really good they was doing it all from memory it was amazing then they played about 5 songs of by heart then at the end once they had all got ready to go home we got to meet some of the orchestra and we asked them some questions and then Rhis asked for their signature but we only got two of the signature called Jamie Campbell and Alex Holladay Alex played the cello and Jamie played the violin. I would recommend the age from about 6 years and over to go and watch it because it may be to long for them to sit and listen quickly, without getting a little restless.

Aurora Orchestra: Beethoven 5 from memory

Review by: Ruby Williams. Age 10

On Friday 27th of May Aurora Orchestra came to Bury St Edmunds to perform at the Apex. They performed Beethoven symphony no. 5 in c minor from memory which is very hard. The performance is aimed at adults but children could enjoy it as well. The performance is just music but still very enjoyable. The show is showing how good Beethoven was at writing music and playing music. The audience was mainly adults with fewer children. At the end of the show it is immersive and the musicians come in to the audience to show how loud it is for the conductor. I really liked it and I think it is amazing how they can remember all those notes. And I liked how they were all wearing black and they all matched. The music varied to happy then sad quite quickly. My favourite instruments was the Violin and the Trumpet. I loved how the musicians moved their hands so quickly on the Violin. And I liked how the Trumpet looked when you play it. My favourite musicians were Thomas Gould who plays the violin and Maria Spengler who also plays the violin. The Conductor was Nicholas Collon and I liked the way he moved up and down to show the musicians what speed and how fast or slow to go. The presenter was Tom Service and he spoke about Beethoven in between songs. I didn’t

really understand what he was saying and I found it a bit boring. but overall it was a really fun and good show.

The Rattler

Review by: Oliver H. Age 10

The story of Rumpelstiltskin is probably a story that adults and children know very well (unlike me who has never read it!) This recreation is great fun and contains an amazing puppet which is the Rattler (aka Rumpelstiltskin), some good actors, some opera singing and a small orchestra. This show is one of those little gems that has been made from a classic fairy-tale book into a performance and I felt that the Apex venue suited this show very well. We began by making some costumes and percussion instruments in the top lounge of the Apex. There were activities ranging from straw beards to rhythm sticks that we had to bang together or on our knees. There were also recycled rattles that we could make. After 20 minutes of that we had song practice. We had to practice songs like “Raise up the glass, the kingdom has a son and heir. Keep him from harm. Evil spirits be gone beware!” (That one was my favourite!) And one other song. Then we had the short but exciting walk to the stage wearing costumes and playing our instruments. The story was fun to watch and the puppeteers were really good and organised with the puppet which played the Rattler based on Rumpelstiltskin. It looked like it would have taken a long time to get used to it as there were multiple people controlling the puppet. The props in the story were really realistic and the spinning wheel was my favourite prop. The performers played their parts really well and I particularly liked the character Prince Aiden (Guy Withers) as he was funny and passionate within the story. The director (Frederic Wake-Walker) has put together a mix of emotions in this story telling and piece of abstract art. It is fun, imaginative and scary all mixed up that equals an amazing adventure and an exciting journey for 6 to 8 year olds. The lighting was impressive and the stage was really well organised with a good selection of props. The opera songs were amazing and the orchestra played really well. I particularly enjoyed the songs that we had learnt and being able to use our handmade instruments was really fun. Although I am 10 years old I still thought this was a fun way of re-telling the story of Rumpelstiltskin but would recommend this to children younger.

The Rattler

Review by: Leah Smallbone. Age nine.

First when you walk in you see a stairs case and then we had a toilet stop for us then we went up to our workshop room to talk for a bit then we went upstairs and done some art and crafts for a bit then we had to learn some songs called the procession song and royal baby jig and then we had to parade round the apex with the actors. Then we went into the large hall and the actors started to perform it was amazing there were only 7 actors and an orchestra there is a puppet called the rattler and he is a scary monster he scared Next a girl called Alice met a boy called Aiden then they kissed and they wanted to get married but Aiden’s mum was an evil queen and she said no but if you have a baby then I will have it she said and I will take it forever and Alice started to cry because she didn’t want no one to take her baby a way and then the rattler knocked on the door and Alice opened the door and guess who was stood there? The rattler oh no thought Alice what am I going to do? Do I let him in or not? Then she let the rattler in and the rattler asked for a favour he wanted the ring the ring was Alice’s mum’s ring oh no then he took her baby and Alice started to cry and guess who came back Aiden came back what has happened Aiden said my… my… my… baby the rattler took him we have not got a name for him yet we need to find him. At the end we got to meet them and we asked them a load of questions about the show and then we got there signature it was so fun to watch. I would recommend it to over 7 years of age, because it is a bit scary and it may give you nightmares.

The Rattler

Review by: Molly Dixon. Age 10.

On Sunday 29th May 2016, Mahogany Opera Group performed their version of Rumpelstiltskin (The rattler). It is set in the olden days, but I recommend it for kids age 6+ because the rattler is rather scary. The rattler is a puppet of junk found on moors like sheep skulls etc. The puppet didn’t look like a puppet, it looked like a real monster. This piece was ever so imaginative, moving and amazing. The rattler was a bit scary and creepy, and once it moves you forget there is people controlling it and it’s like a weird Mythical, wild creature. When it came out of the box I thought it was real for a moment and wanted to scream. There was a man controlling the legs of the rattler, a women controlling the body and an arm and there was another man controlling the head and the other arm. They had to connect and make the creature walk. The man controlling the head was the creature’s voice. This show was interesting and immersive because they get you to sing, clap along to the music and chant stuff. The lighting showed moods like when it was sad it was dark, when it was happy it was light etc. It was really effective and interesting. The meaning of this was that there was a little man/creature and when the girl couldn’t pay him to spin gold he said one day he would return and take anything he could hold. One day when the girl had a baby he returned and took the baby. The mother of the child got the baby boy back in the end, they danced and chanted. I loved this, I loved having the opportunity to see this show. As long as you’re over 6 I recommend it to you! If you get the chance to watch this you will rock with laughter, joyfulness and happiness.

The Rattler

Review by: Ruby Williams. Age 10.

On Sunday the 29th of May Mahogany Opera group came to the Apex in bury st Edmunds to perform Rumpelstiltskin. The performance is aimed at younger children but adults could enjoy it as well. The performance is about a kid’s story that not everyone may know. The show is aimed 7+. The show has got opera, theatre, acting, music, puppetry and it is also immersive. The show starts upstairs in the Apex doing lots of different activities like making skirts and making instruments that you can use in the My favourite characters were all of them because they are all such good actors and singers. And it’s amazing how they can remember all their lines. After the show some of the actors came and met us and we asked them some questions. Then they gave us their autographs. The director of the rattler is Frederic Wake-Walker and he did an amazing job

directing and writing the play. I think all of the play was amazing. And I liked how they dimmed the light everywhere else but only the light was shining on I also really liked how they used a puppet to get the effect of a monster and it made it more real. In the work shop I did get a bit bored learning the songs but when we got to our seats to start the story I enjoyed it more. Overall I think it was a very enjoyable show and I would go see it again.

The Rattler

Review by: Molly Brown.

On Sunday 29th of May 2016 the Mahogany Opera Group came to the Apex to perform The Rattler. The Rattler is a retelling of Rumpelstiltskin. It is for ages 7 and over, because in some bits it is quite scary.

The actual Rattler is a puppet made out of different materials it is quite creepy. It was creeping up on lots of the characters the puppet took 9 months to make. The characters had to keep changing costumes because every character had more than one part in the performance. Before the performance there is a chance to make a few things that you use during the performance. Originally the performance was suppose to start at The Hunters Club and everyone walked to the Apex but then they called that off. So you have to do everything at the Apex upstairs and parade downstairs. We all learnt 2 songs to sing during the performance, which made it quite fun. It was an immersive art piece because everyone had to join in with it. Their were 4 musical instruments playing all of the music they were the cello, harp, miniature piano and clarinet. The musicians played the music really well. In my opinion the performance was a bit boring because it repeated itself a bit and I didn’t understand how some of the characters fit in with the performance. It was quite fun how the performers came into the performance.

The Rattler

Review by: Dylan Everett

At the apex The rattler is a performance of Rumpelstiltskin with a twist. At the start there was a workshop you make rattlers beat sticks and some wrist bands and beards dress out of straw the you learn some little songs to sing in the performance at certain points of the show. Then you walk around the apex singing into the real performance they change the name of Rumpelstiltskin to the rattler children under 7 will most probably find it Quite scary because the rattler is made of bone. So if you like puppetry it the on for you! it’s very exciting and lots of opera When talking. The puppet was very realistic they got the eye was line right, the breathing and the gravity was right. It was hard to focus the people controlling him because you are so intrusted at the puppet the music is three people playing a cello and a piano and the clarinet. It’s very funny at some points and it was kind of a dance. The actors are extremely good they really good a being the character in the story. You should deftly see Everything is awesome!


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